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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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St. Maria Goretti

Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
Psalm 105:2-7
Matthew 10:1-7

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time to plow

“Break up for yourselves a new field.” —Hosea 10:12

Breaking up a new field (Hos 10:12) is very hard work. Since the field is new, the soil has not been cleared or tilled. Breaking up a new field involves a large initial investment of time and exhausting labor. There are trees and large rocks to clear out. You finally get the field cleared and then you begin to “break up” the soil, that is, plow the field. Then you hit a large rock, a stump, or a root beneath the soil. This obstacle stops you, and you must get dirty, personally interacting with the soil. It is messy, time-consuming toil. In addition, we cannot quit. We must put our hand to the plow and not look back (Lk 9:62).

Scripture often compares evangelization with this type of laborious toil (see Mt 13:24, 30; Mk 4:3, 29). You meet a person to whom the Lord is calling you to witness, heal, and disciple. Often before you can share the Word of God with them, you need to “break up” the field of his or her heart. You spend time with them and encounter an obstacle, such as a rock-hard heart or a deep-rooted belief in falsehoods. You might encounter a buried stump, such as a shattered relationship that has closed the person to the Good News. Like the plowman, you must interact with the person to help remove the obstacle. It is difficult and discouraging work.

However, as you plow, keep in mind that you are not alone. Jesus plows with you (Mt 11:29-30). Put your hand to the plow (Lk 9:62). Break up a new field (Hos 10:12).

Prayer:  Father, remove the swords of anger from my heart and the hearts of all those to whom I minister. Help us to “beat [these] swords into plowshares” (Is 2:4). Thy kingdom come! (Mt 6:10)

Promise:  “He, the Lord, is our God; throughout the earth His judgments prevail.” —Ps 105:7

Praise:  At the age of 11, St. Maria Goretti was murdered during an attempted rape. Her life was so inspirational that 250,000 people attended her canonization ceremony in 1950.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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