Daily Reflection
July 27th, 2001
Maureen McCann Waldron
Collaborative Ministry Office
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Exodus 20:1-17
Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
Matthew 13:18-23

I have been weeding a lot lately as the summer rains and sun have given life to everything in our garden - including weeds.  There is one weed that always fascinates me.  It's a tiny thing and I usually catch it when it's only a few inches high, with two or three leaves.  But the root that comes out when I pull it after a good rain is usually twice as long as its height.  I am amazed at its ability to take root so quickly and so stubbornly.

I also have one flower in my yard that is pretty and easy to grow.  But it has very small roots and the squirrels are constantly digging these flowers up and scattering them around the yard.  I wish the squirrels would take the same interest in my stubborn little weeds, but they wouldn't be able to dig up those long roots even if they wanted to.

In today's gospel Jesus explains his parable of the seed tossed along the path, some landing on good soil and taking root, other seed falling into rocks or being choked off by weeds.  Jesus reminds us of how difficult it is to live the life he preaches, to be stubborn and determined about staying in the good soil.

In today's first reading, God delivers the commandments to Moses.  It's easy in one sense to glance at them and go on.  I don't covet my neighbor's spouse, kill, steal or commit adultery.  Ok, I can say with some arrogance, I've done this; what's next?

But Jesus reminds us that living the faith means more than a checklist of sins.  The commandments aren't so easily dismissed and really following Jesus means sinking our lives and our beliefs deeply into our everyday lives.  I can look at my own life and think of how easily I am distracted by the colorful flowers of our culture, wanting to look good and be respected and honored.  It's so easy to be sidetracked into thinking that my house could be decorated better, that I need a glamorous vacation, or that how I am seen in my community is more important than anything else.  It's an even smaller step for me to begin to think I am entitled to these things and that they are more important than anything else.

I think Jesus' message to us today is simple, but not easy:  don't be distracted by the things of this world that can take us away from living a life of faith.  With his life he set the example for us about loving each other, even those who have hurt us, about caring for those who are unable to care for themselves and about standing up for the poor.  I have to ask myself what I have spent more time on today:  making myself look good or thinking of others?  What have I done to care for my faith today?

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