Mass Readings: September 17

First: 1 Timothy 6:13-16
Resp: Psalm 100:1-5
Gospel: Luke 8:4-15

A STIFLING TRIO

"Their progress is stifled by the cares and riches and pleasures of life and they do not mature." –Luke 8:14

Jesus identifies three things that stifle the Word's progress in our lives if we don't surrender them to His lordship:

  1. cares. We are to cast our cares upon Jesus, because He cares for us (1 Pt 5:7). He is more than "able" (Heb 7:25) to deal with our cares.
  2. riches. Many of us spend much time working for money to meet our needs and to provide for our future. In so doing, we might be stifling our progress (Lk 8:14). Let's make Jesus our Wealth (Phil 3:8). We cannot give ourselves to both God and money (Mt 6:24).
  3. pleasures (Lk 8:14). The world does produce pleasures which can satisfy temporarily. However, the world's pleasures are passing away (1 Jn 2:17). If we live for them, we lose our appetite for the things of God (see Prv 13:19). Our pursuit of pleasure displaces our hunger for God. The Lord must be our Pleasure and our Delight (Ps 37:4).

God's Word produces the harvest, but we have to weed out the cares, riches, and pleasures of this world from our hearts to receive "the blessing of God" (Heb 6:7). "Bear fruit through perseverance" in opening your heart (Lk 8:15).

PRAYER: Father, may I never "grow lazy" (Heb 6:12) in respect to Your Word. Give me "ears open to obedience" (Ps 40:7).
PROMISE: "Some fell on good soil, grew up, and yielded grain a hundredfold." –Lk 8:8
PRAISE: St. Robert embraced the gospel as he shared his intelligence by brilliant teaching as well as sharing his food with the hungry and the poor.