Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Building a House God’s Way

By Colleen O'Sullivan
“The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you...  Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”  (2 Samuel 7:11c, 16)

And (Jesus) taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this!  A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Other seed 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 and it produced no grain.  And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.  It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” 
(Mark 4:2-8)

O Lord, may my efforts for your Kingdom be in line with your desires.  May I be a generous sower in your name.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when we tell God what we’re going to do for him, we discover that God has a totally different plan in mind?  That’s what happens to King David.  He is looking around reflectively one day, admiring his fine cedar palace, when suddenly it occurs to him that there he is living in comfort while the ark of the Lord has nothing but a tent for a dwelling place.  He decides the thing to do is build God a fine house.  But God, it turns out, has something else entirely up his sleeve.  Through the prophet Nathan, God tells David: I have no need of a house right now.  After all, I’ve got the whole universe!  I’ve always wanted to be wherever my people are and I’ve never minded traveling around with a tent for a shelter.  No, here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to establish a house for you and your descendants, not of bricks and mortar (or cedar), but a dynasty that will last forever.

Jesus, of the house and lineage of David, is the fulfillment of that promise.  And what the Lord asks of you and me in today’s Gospel reading is that we work alongside him in his Father’s kingdom by sowing his word wherever and whenever we can.  Back in Jesus’ day, farmers had no idea what kind of soil they were dealing with, because they didn’t cultivate it before planting time.  They scattered the seed indiscriminately and hoped that some of it would sprout and yield a rich harvest.  Jesus asks us to do the same.  Don’t worry about the results; just be generous with the sowing.  Some of it will come to naught, but what falls on fertile ground may produce yields beyond our wildest dreams.

Christian sowing takes many shapes and forms.  In my Cursillo group, some women help each year with the hypothermia shelter when it comes to the local parish.  A few volunteer at the Lamb Center in Fairfax.  Others have served on team for Cursillo weekends.  Some participate in music ministries.  One person is part of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC), and works in a different IVC ministry each year.  Another teaches CCD.  There are simply too many types of sowing going on to capture them all here.

What seeds are you spreading for Christ?  Be generous as you spread the word, and when you pray today, ask the Lord to bless your efforts.  

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