The answer to the question in the title of this article is one we all want to hear – a resounding “YES.”
We want to believe that in the midst of the struggles we have all experienced over the last several months that God’s Word, as we hear in the Scriptures, is relevant and reassuring. We want to understand where God is in this pandemic and why this is happening across our world. We strive to hold on to hope.
As we often find, the Word of God that we hear this Sunday, is exactly perfect, just like God’s timing. In the first reading, God reminds us, through the prophet Isaiah, that just like the rain that falls on the field and produces a bountiful harvest, God’s Word will produce a rich harvest for those who receive God’s Word and do God’s will. God’s Word has the opportunity to grow in each one of us.
Now I will admit that I am not much at gardening, but I do know that you have to do more than just scatter seed before you can reap a bountiful harvest. Jesus makes that point in the parable in today’s Gospel. Jesus explains what happens when we just scatter seeds haphazardly and what great results we experience when seeds are planted in rich soil and cared for properly.
Jesus explained that parable to his disciples. The seed – the Word of God – has been “planted” in each one of us. But Jesus points out the challenges that we can encounter as we try to nurture that seed and help it grow. We face many distractions in our world that can prevent that seed from finding the rich soil that it needs to produce great things in us. The pandemic has certainly been a big-time distraction.
Although we feel like we are all suffering even if we have not been infected by the coronavirus – we have lost jobs, faced social, emotional, physical and spiritual isolation, experienced shortages, and became teachers and daycare workers for our own families, we also know that God is in control and that God will turn what seems like suffering today into joy – “See, I make all things new!” (Revelations 21:5)
Our role is to become rich soil for the Word of God to take root in us in these difficult times. We can start by remembering the Words of St. Paul as we begin the second reading: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed to us.”
St. Paul goes on to remind us that while we don’t know God’s plan, we do know that God loves us and that God only wants what is best for us. God’s Word reminds us of these promises over and over again. The key is that we need to listen and let that Word take root in our hearts.
The seed, God’s Word, has been planted. The Word is poised to grow in each one of us. We need to have faith, hope and trust that God’s Word will lead us through these difficult times. Each one of us needs to be rich soil for that word to grow in us.