「Spiritual Talk」Fifteeth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

Date: 2020-07-11
Audio Segment Types: Spiritual Talk
Languages: Cantonese

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Brief description:

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fifteeth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading from Matthew 13 contains the Parable of the Sower. After being baptized, our hearts become soil for God’s grace but once we encounter difficulties, our hearts harden and are unable to receive God’s Word, prevent it from taking root, or suffocate the seedlings. We ought to both listen and obey the Gospel; Jesus knew that no parable, no matter how good, could open the hardened hearts of men, but only God’s grace could open them to receive His Word. Sin hardens our hearts so God gives us sufferings in this life as a medicine for our spiritual illnesses. If we want to prepare our hearts to receive His Word, we must first set aside time to pray, keep the commandments, do good, and avoid evil. As every good farmer knows, a bountiful harvest needs not only good seeds, but also good soil. We take care of our physical hearts through exercise and healthy eating, so why should we not prepare our spiritual hearts through mentally preparing ourselves before prayer to listen and obey? Kimberley Hahn, the wife of Biblical scholar Scott Hahn, knew that God wanted her to become a Catholic but her heart was resistant. One day, her father asked her whether she had prayed the prayer he asked her to pray: “O Lord, I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do, say what you want me to say, let go of whatever you want me to let go.” Kimberley was afraid to pray this prayer because she was afraid that God was calling her to become a Catholic, but her father told her that the prayer was not an opportunity for her to tell God what she wanted, but to change heart to accept God’s plan for her, until she could shout out every word sincerely. Kimberley asked the Holy Spirit for the strength to pray it, and three to four days later she was finally able to pray it. She was still afraid but had the freedom and joy of being able to fully explore the faith, and she understood that God’s plan was indeed the best for her. Eventually, she converted to the Catholic faith. When we have internal struggles in our heart, we must ask for God’s grace to prepare the spiritual soil of our hearts to accept His Word.