Carry the gospel with you
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Reflection on the gospel reading: Two thousand years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know that the coming of the Kingdom of God is not without setbacks, and Jesus’ Parable of the Sower of the Seed assumes an air not just of parable but of prophecy as well. Jesus said the the Kingdom will not arrive in a smooth and orderly process. There will be fits and starts along the way. Epochs in history will seem like the gospel is being consumed wholesale, and in other times, it will sprout only to whither. But the ultimate trajectory of the Kingdom is secure. When all is said and done, the gospel will produce a rich harvest. We only need to do our part and wait for God to yield the rich harvest.
Saint of the day: The Servant of God Virginia Blanco Tardio was the second of four daughters of Louis Pius White Unzueta and Daria Late Quiroga. She was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 18, 1916 and earned the Bachelor of Humanities at the College of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She had a general knowledge far superior to most of her contemporaries and had extensive biblical and theological knowledge. She received the title of Professor of Religion School when I was 32. From the time when she was young, Virginia was an exemplary catechist teaching children, youth, and adults in Spanish and Quechua to receive the sacraments. She was beloved by her students to whom she taught religion in several public schools in Cochabamba for 40 years; she worked more than 10 of those years without receiving a salary. Virginia was a member of Catholic Action, and for many years, she served as the president of the Diocesan Women’s Association of Catholic Action. During the 1950s, she served the welfare of indigent people, even opening her house to support their needs. In 1962, she founded the Prayer and Friendship Group. She continued her service of the poor throughout her life, dying of a heart attack on the night of July 23, 1990 at age 74. The investigation of her virtues is drawing to a close, and there is a strong likelihood she will be named a venerable in the near future.
Spiritual reading: Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself. (Thomas Merton)