Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection 7-23-21

Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
July 23, 2021
16th Friday, July 23,2021 in Ordinary Time, Yr1
Ex 20-1:17, Ps 19:8-11, Mt 13:18-23

If it were just that simple to look at God’s laws and follow them, there would be no need to be reminded of them. But life is not that way. Life is full of ups and downs, good times, and bad. Through God’s everlasting love, He gave us free will, the ability to choose between one thing and another. It is because of that free will, and the original sin we carry from Adam and Eve, it makes it pretty difficult for us to consistently choose the right path. So, God, in His everlasting goodness, gave us 10 simple rules for us to live on. Follow these rules, and life will be good. 

Well, maybe it isn’t that simple. Our Jewish ancestors struggled so hard with them, that they went on and created 613 more rules that apply to these 10 rules. To further clarify them, as they say. It was so hard to follow these 10 rules that we (they) could not. So, we, or our ancestors, made more rules, to make it easier. And yet, we still struggled. Even with 613 more rules. 

Maybe, just maybe, if we listen to Jesus today, we might get a glimpse of how to live them easier. Jesus talks about two things, where did we learn about the 10 simple rules, and how are we forming our mind, or our conscious to guide us in these rules? In the first part of this, where did we learn about these rules, Jesus uses the analogy of the Sower of the seed. Where is he sowing the seed? In rocks, in sand or on fertile ground? What path are we taking in our education? Not from a pure knowledge state, but who is teaching us what is right, and what is wrong? What path are we on that is giving us the truth? Are we on a path where we hear the word, and then someone distracts us and steals that away? Or are we on a path where we can hear the word, understand it, and put it away for good use later? Good sound teaching from a reputable source, like our Church, is the way we sow our seed on fertile soil. It is where the seeds that are planted, will grow and blossom with good things and will not wither away. 

The second part is about our own conscious, and the decisions we make. God made us wonderful beings, we have intellect, and we have memory. Using our intellect, we can reach into our memory about what we have learned, make the right decision, and guide our will to take the right action. This is a well-formed conscious, the one that understands the word of the Kingdom and will not let the evil one snatch it away. It is one where we do not need 613 more rules, 10 is enough. 

Yet, do not be deceived, our fee will is still there. Plus, we have this thing call concupiscence, that one desire that short circuits our intellect and memory and goes right to our will, taking action before our conscience can guide us. But, if we form our conscience correctly, there will be less of a chance we will let concupiscence, the propensity to sin, take over. And if we fail? Talk to God, go to Confession, and plead for mercy. He knows, He understands, but put that action into your memory, so you remember, and if you are ever tempted by it again, you will know the right action to take. This is called repentance, the desire to never repeat that offense again.

10 simple rules that are not that simple to follow. Yet, they can be, if you follow the right path and grow that seed in fertile ground. 

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL