‘That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore, and he told them many things in parables. He said, ‘Listen, a sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Anyone who has ears should listen!”
Listening and understanding the Word of God will determine whether our life is modelled on this source of grace and lives from it or not. This is why the study of God’s Word is to be our daily bread, since it nourishes our spiritual life and grants us light and guidance.
But Jesus warns us that we can easily miss out on the fruit of this daily food, for the enemy will try to prevent us from taking advantage of it. How can this happen in our spiritual life?
We must take great care to have constant order in our spiritual life. It is essential that we read Holy Scripture daily. In case we are unable to do so one day, due to circumstances, we can make it up the next day. The enemy would have us believe that this daily reading is not so important, that we can postpone it for another occasion, that there are other activities of more importance that we should do… He can also use external circumstances to keep us away from this practice.
Having an order in our life, in which we set aside a specific time for spiritual reading, being aware of its great value, can limit the influence of the enemy and anchor us more and more deeply in the Word of God.
The enemy will also try to provoke in us an aversion to the Word of God, with arguments such as: “I have heard this so many times before and I even know it by heart”; “There is nothing new in these words”; “After all, it is impossible to put it into practice” … Or he will simply awaken in us an inner feeling of rejection.
It often happens that we become tired and distracted just when we are about to listen to or read the Word of God. This happens because it is food for the spirit, which does not stimulate our senses very much, but how easily tiredness disappears with what stimulates our sensual nature!
As Jesus explains in the parable, there are other elements that prevent, or at least limit, the reception and use of the Word of God. The Lord mentions, for example, the tribulations that can befall us because of the Word.
A further element that will prevent the Word from producing its fruit in us is that we are too committed to this world, too busy with the concerns of daily life, or that we attach too much importance to money.
The Word of God requires our full attention and willingness; constancy in reading it; and the courage to be touched by it. In this way, it will become our inner treasure.