the brier patch
"The seed fallen among briers are those who hear, but their progress is stifled by the cares and riches and pleasures of life and they do not mature." —Luke 8:14
If you are reading this book and the Scriptures referred to in it, you are probably not the footpath Jesus mentions in today's Gospel reading (Lk 8:12), for you are open to the seed of God's word. If you read this book and the Bible consistently, you are probably not the rocky ground (Lk 8:13), for you have persevered in hearing God's word. Therefore, you must be either growing thorns which prevent the seed of God's word from maturing (see Lk 8:14) or you are bearing the precious, abundant fruit of God's word (Lk 8:15).
To produce fruit, you must weed the garden of your life and remove:
- cares (Lk 8:14). Jesus commanded us: "Stop worrying, then, over questions like, 'What are we to eat, or what are we to drink, or what are we to wear?' " (Mt 6:31)
- riches (Lk 8:14). The Lord has warned us: "Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and a trap. They are letting themselves be captured by foolish and harmful desires which drag men down to ruin and destruction" (1 Tm 6:9). Even if we are poor, we are trapped if we want to be rich (1 Tm 6:9).
- the pleasures of life (Lk 8:14). The Lord wants us to enjoy ourselves sometimes. Yet we must not live for pleasures but for Him, even if this means we will suffer greatly.
Weed your brier patch or you will never have a harvest.
Prayer: Father, do whatever is necessary to purify my heart.
Promise: "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful song." —Ps 100:2
Praise: "He is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords Who alone has immortality and Who dwells in unapproachable light, Whom no human being has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and everlasting rule! Amen" (1 Tm 6:15-16).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999