Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday in Easter 6: Riches choke the word

Opening Sentence
On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Collect of the Day
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 78:1-39

Lessons: Leviticus 26:1-20, 1 Timothy 2:1-6, Matthew 13:18-23


"The seed sown among the thorns is the person who listens to the word, but the anxiety of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it is made fruitless." This reminds us of the words spoken to Adam: "You shall eat your bread among thorns and thistles." This mystically signifies that those who give themselves over to the pleasures and cares of this world eat the heavenly bread and true food among thorns. Hence the Lord fittingly added, "The deceitfulness of riches chokes the word." Riches are enticing indeed, promising one thing and doing another. The possession of riches is uncertain. They are borne from place to place. Unpredictably they either desert the haves or gorge the have-nots. The Lord also states that it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven, for riches choke the word of God and weaken the force of the virtues.

"And the one sown upon good ground is he who hears the word, understands it and bears fruit." Even as on bad ground there were three diverse situations (by the path, upon rocky ground and among thorns), so too on good ground the diversity is of three types: fruit of one hundredfold, sixtyfold and thirtyfold. Both in one and the other there is a change that takes place in the will, not in the nature itself. In both the unbelievers and believers it is the heart that receives the seed. "The wicked one comes," he says, "and snatches away what has been sown in his heart." In the second and third cases, he says, "That is he who hears the word." In the explanation of the good ground, he is the one who hears the word. First we must listen, then understand; after understanding, we must bear the fruits of good teaching and yield fruit either one hundredfold, sixtyfold or thirtyfold.

Jerome
Commentary on Matthew 2.13-23

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee