Grace to you!
Stories are powerful tools in communication. For one to be an effective speaker, developing storytelling skills are crucial. Storytelling grabs the attention of the audience. It keeps them engaged.
The Lord Jesus was an incredible storyteller. Many of his teachings were developed through stories. Some were stories of current events. Others were stories through comparisons, what we call parables. No one reads the Lord's teachings in the Gospel and not marvel at the profundity of his storytelling skills. The Lord's way of communicating the things of the heavenly kingdom is the hymn of divine story. They strike in people's hearts as would holy rhythm.
Take, for instance, the parables of the kingdom (Mark chapter 4). The Lord told four parables of the kingdom. They include the parables of the sower, the lamp, about seeds, and the mustard. You may want to read those parables at your leisure because they are powerful, beautifully developed stories.
Let me reflect briefly on the parable about seeds recorded in Mk 4:26-29. It's a continuation of the parable of the sower. In the parable, the Lord describes how a sower (a person, a preacher) sows the Word of God. Some seeds fell on rocky ground, some fell on the wayside, on thorns, and the last on good soil. Those which fell on the wayside, rocky ground, and thorns died off. Whereas, those sowed on good soil germinated and grew and produced numerous seeds. In the parable, the Lord describes how the real growth of these seeds that fell on good soil occur.
This parable assures us of some points about how the growth of the seed takes place. First, there must be the planting, the sowing of the seed of the Word of God for it to germinate. As St. Paul said, there must be a preacher, a witness (Rom 10:14). So, do not cease from bearing witness to the Gospel. How your witness grows isn't within your power, insofar as you have sown the word, and it fell on good soil. The good soil is any heart that is open to God. It is by the power of God's grace that growth takes place in such hearts. It may take months and years, but it must grow gradually, not necessarily dramatically. It's only on a few occasions, like in the case of the Conversion of St. Paul, as recorded in Acts of the Apostles 9, that God uses a dramatic power of conversion.
The growth will lead to the production of seed. Therefore, growth leads to further fruit for the kingdom. The convert becomes the converter. The evangelized becomes the evangelizer. Growth is a testimony of an evangelizing community.
Thus, in dealing with your loved ones who left the faith and it seems your message is falling on deaf ears, do not throw in the towel. Keep on sowing the seed, positively, lovingly by your life example, and when possible, by words. It is God who touches the heart. He will touch their hearts at his time.
I pray for faithful commitments to the work of evangelization. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[2 Sm 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17; Mk 4:26-34]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.