February 3, 2013

Sexagesima Sunday

As we draw near Lent, we listen today at the TLM about what the life of a saint is:
 Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one. 
Thrice was I beaten with rods: once I was stoned: thrice I suffered shipwreck: a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.
In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren:
In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness

St. Paul 

Suffering is a part of life.  It is a blessing because through suffering God gives us the circumstances to draw ourselves to Him.   It is only through suffering that we will find true Joy.  I would suspect God sends us the challenges of every-day life as well as larger crosses because without them we would far to easily find our desires and joys in the things and people of this world.  We would find ourselves content with the good things and forget that we aren't here for this world but for the next... which is Heaven.  Christ gives us the example of how to get there... by carrying our crosses.  

Today we also listened to the parable of the sower and the seed.  We recall that along the way there are those who do not accept the Word at all but just travel a well-trodden road, their souls are hardened so no seed of Truth can penetrate it.  Then there are those who are unable to endure temptation due to human weakness, so, although they hear the Word, it can take no root for the soil of their souls is too rocky.  Next we have the souls of those who hear the Word of God but choke it out due to all the riches and cares of this world. Their souls are thorny.  Then we have the saintly souls who hear the word of God and keep it, their souls are filled with good soil which is formed through suffering and sacrifice.

As we approach Lent, we should consider how to penetrate our hardened hearts, how to get rid of the rocks and thorns so that we can enrich the soil of our soul to bear good fruit.

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