Transformation Tuesdays was inspired by the CD "The Jesus Question" by Matthew Kelly. Deacon Jimmy Ghiglione and Aaron Emig recap the Gospel from the prior Sunday and give action steps and resources to transform our lives for that week every Tuesday at 2:10 p.m. at Morris Hall from Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville, IL. Deacon Jimmy: Therefore, the simple meaning of the parable is we need to “Be Good Soil.” Generally good soil does not become good soil all on its own. Good soil receives help. The farmer cultivates it, fertilizes it, makes sure it receives nutrients and water that will help the seed grow. The things that are good for it. Let’s think of God as the farmer. We are the soil. The seed is His word, His teachings, His commandments. But God doesn’t just sow the seed, and leave us (the soil) alone, expecting us to nurture the seed ourselves. He nurtures us. He waters us. He feeds us. He gives us all kinds of help to be the very best soil that we can be. Grant: In Jesus’ parable, a sower scatters seed all over the field. Birds eat some seed. Some seeds spring up then die under the sun. Some seeds are choked by thorns. And some seeds produce rich fruit. Last summer, I was visiting cousins who live in the Chicago suburbs and decided to check out a Sunday service at a nearby nondenominational church, Harvest Bible Chapel. I went inside a building that looked like an old warehouse and sat in an auditorium they called their “worship space.” For an entire hour, a live band blasted Contemporary Christian music. It was so loud that I couldn't talk to the person sitting next to me if I had wanted to. It was a great concert and really got my blood pumping, but it gave me no spiritual insights or growth. After an hour of the concert, I left and went to Mass at St. Theresa’s, the parish that we normally go to when we’re visiting. Everything about St. Theresa’s and the Mass was the complete opposite of Harvest Bible Chapel. Their sanctuary has stations of the cross on the walls, an area with candles and a statue of Mary, and a large crucifix at the front. I especially noticed that day how deliberately paced and how reverent the Mass was. The readings poured out the Scriptures to me, and the homily gave me new insights. And the Eucharist brought Christ to me in the deepest way possible. I was able to receive His body and blood. My experience at Harvest Bible Chapel made me feel like a seed that would spring up quickly then die under the sun. It was an emotional, exciting experience--but one that didn’t last long or mean much. My experience at Mass made me feel like a seed that could bear rich fruit, because I was being watered and cared for in the right way by the Scripture readings and the Eucharist. Aaron Emig: What type of sower are you? Trust me most of my life I have been 1, 2 or 3 but always striving for number 4… Deacon Jimmy: If God calls us to be good soil, and He does, then we have to accept his caring for the soil, in whatever form that may be. We have to accept His Justice and His Forgiveness. We have to accept His Correction and His Compassion. We have to accept God’s Laws and His Love. Our Loving Lord will cultivate us and enable us all to bring his loving presence into the world. We can be the good soil because God asks us to be, and enables us to be. Alex: It's easy to worship God and be thankful to him when things are going really well, and we should. However, we need to stay focused and have faith even when things aren't going well for us. Have to "pray when it rains as well as when it shines." Being a disciple of Jesus is not simply a matter of feeling joyful emotions. Emotions fade. Christ never does. And so, we must not either. It's important to ask God for the strength to persevere daily. Aaron Emig: Wisdom Words of the Week are…“The Law of Karma is a
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