Don’t Let The Anxieties Of Life Choke You | Gospel Reflection

by Catholic Bible Studies And Reflections, Faith & Life, Self-Knowledge

Gospel of Luke 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. 
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him
what the meaning of this parable might be.
He answered,
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you;
but to the rest, they are made known through parables
so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.

“This is the meaning of the parable. 
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, 
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”

Luke 8:4:15

Are You Being Choked By The Anxieties Of Life?

Today we hear the well-known parable of the Sower and the seed. Jesus tells us that those who hear the word of God (all of us!) are like different types of soil. We all receive it differently and have struggles with letting it bear fruit in our lives. The reality is that all of us are really more than one of the types of soil. Sometimes we are the good soil and we experience a period in our life of great flourishing and growth. Sometimes though we struggle with the temptations, anxieties, and focus on worldly pleasures of the rocky or thorny soil.

It is worth reflecting on instances in our lives where we have been each of the types of soil (and I would encourage you to take some time to do so), but I would like to use this reflection to look at the thorny soil. Jesus describes the seed in this soil as being “choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life.”

Anxiety is something that impacts many of us today. Beyond being unpleasant and interfering with our daily tasks, I think it is important to recognize that anxiety is not something God wants for us. It prevents our true flourishing as well as preventing God’s word from bearing fruit in our life. Throughout Scripture we hear many times “do not be afraid.” It is important to remember that God desires that we have peace!

If you find yourself struggling often with anxiety, I would encourage you to spend some time in prayer, asking God to grant you peace in the midst of your struggles.  However, we are not called to do this without help!  Consider reaching out to loved ones, mentors, or even a counselor to help if anxiety is a problem for you so that you can grow in your ability to be the fertile soil that God wants you to be!

Be at peace.

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;

Rather look to them with full hope that as they arise,

God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things.

And when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;

The same everlasting Father who cares for you today

Will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering,

Or give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace,

And put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.

– St. Francis De Sales

St. Ignatius’ Prayer For When You Are Anxious

O Christ Jesus

When all is darkness

And we feel our weakness and helplessness,

Give us the sense of Your Presence,

Your Love and Your Strength.

Help us to have perfect trust

In Your protecting love

And strengthening power,

So that nothing may frighten or worry us,

For, living close to You,

We shall see Your Hand,

Your Purpose,

Your Will through all things.

Amen.

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This reflection was originally published HERE.

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