Thought of the day
Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time
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"A hundred or sixty or thirtyfold"

The sowing was carried out by the apostles and prophets, yet it is the Lord himself who sows. The Lord himself is the one present in them since it is the Lord himself who did the reaping. For without him they are nothing whereas, without them, he remains unmoved. As he said to them: “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15,5). And so what does Christ say as he sows among the gentiles? “A sower went out to sow” (Mt 13,3). In another text reapers were sent out to reap, but here the sower goes out to sow and does not complain of his labor. For what, indeed, does it matter if some seed falls on the path or rocky ground or among thorns? If he were to let himself be discouraged by these arid terrains he would make no progress towards the good soil!...

Now this has a bearing on ourselves: are we that pathway, those rocks, those weeds? Do we want to be good soil? Let us prepare our hearts to yield thirty, sixty, a hundred, a thousandfold. Thirtyfold or a thousandfold: in each case it is a question of wheat and nothing but wheat. Don't let us any longer be that path where our sowing is trampled on by passers-by and our enemy lays hold of us like a bird. Further, those rocks or that shallow soil cause seeds that are unable to endure the heat of the sun to shoot up too quickly. And most especially: not those weeds, the lusts of this world, a focus for wrongdoing. For what, indeed, could be worse than applying all our efforts to a life that hinders us from attaining life? What more miserable than to cultivate our lives in order to lose life? What could be sadder than to avoid death only to fall into the power of death? Let us cut off the thorns, prepare the soil, receive the seed, hold fast till the harvest and long to be taken into the barn.

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church 
Sermon 101; PL 38, 605