How receptive are you to God?
God reveals himself to us in so many ways, but do we recognize that revelation? Psalm 65 acknowledges God’s goodness to the people in the form of agricultural bounty: You have visited the land and watered it… Your paths overflow with a rich harvest, the psalmist sings. Such agricultural images serve not only to point to God’s goodness in creation, but also as metaphors for God’s work in the world in general. The prophet Isaiah compares the rains that water the earth with the word that goes forth from the mouth of God: like God’s benevolent actions that enrich and bless God’s people, God’s word also achieves the end for which God sent it. But to fully understand that end, we need a new level of receptivity to the word.
Jesus’ parables work in a similar way, offering images that are both literal examples of God’s work on behalf of humankind, and metaphors intended to engage us. To internalize the teachings of Jesus, we must take his images, his metaphors, into our heart – we must open ourselves, both intellectually and spiritually, to God and to God’s ways. We encounter God daily in God’s world and in God’s word, in creation and in Jesus, the Word made flesh. Matthew's Gospel causes us to ask, are we seeds that fall on rich soil, souls open to God, ready to take God’s teachings to heart? We can’t know everything of course; as Paul reminds the Romans, creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God just as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. So there is something greater to come, something for which we hope. In the meantime, though, it makes sense to open ourselves to God’s work in our lives, to God’s presence, to the revelation of God’s love, working in us and through us, so long as we remain receptive, ready to engage with God’s word in the world.
This post is based on OLMC’s Scripture class.
Image source: Wordle