First Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. "You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates;for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you. "You shall not kill. "You shall not commit adultery. "You shall not steal. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's."
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8-11
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Gospel: Matthew 13:18-23
"Hear then the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
When we read the parable of the sower and the seed, we all want to be the seed that takes good root, thrives, and bears fruit, right? But how on earth (no pun intended ;)) do we do that in the midst of rocky ground, unpredictable wind, destructive rains, and uncomfortable thorns? How do we become well-rooted in a stormy world?
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether."
The law of the Lord is how we stay well-rooted, friends. His law, His testimony, His commandments, His ordinances. They bring revival, wisdom, goodness, joy, purity, enlightenment, and righteousness. The commandments of the Lord are not restrictive, boring, or unjust; rather, they are our keys to true freedom and joy in our lives. The commandments are our blueprint for happiness.
When we are rooted in truth, we are immovable. When we know who we are in Him, no element can shake us. When we follow His ways, we find true fulfillment and bear much beautiful, beautiful, fruit.
Examining your life today, where are you seeking rooting? Is it in God or in something fickle and passing?
Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.