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The good news for the day July 22

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time (399) 

(The First reading: the Ten Commandments–In Hebrew are the Ten “Words.”)

Jesus explains the parable of the sower to people learning from Him: “The seed sown on the footpath is someone who hears the word of the realm of what’s right without getting an understanding of it. What is evil comes along and steals away what was sown in that heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is someone who hears the word and accepts it right away with joy. But that one has no root and it lasts only for a while. When some challenge or harassment comes because of the word, that person immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is someone who hears the word, but then practical anxiety and the lure of financial success choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on loamy soil is someone who hears the word and understands it well—who in fact bears fruit and yields a hundred, sixty, or thirtyfold.” (Matthew 13)

Somewhere along the line, you “get” the meaning of “Word.” The “Word” includes the “words” of the Ten Commandments; it includes words of Jesus in the Gospels and an ocean of word-traditions. It also includes words that express feelings of exchanged love and gratitude. In short, the “Word” is what changes you from passive living—coasting through life—into an embrace of life. Words can be what wakens you from immature & docile acceptance of “whatever!” into someone who wants to BE, hungers for growth, and needs to make a difference.

You accept words you have heard all your life—but now you feel—you know—you understand, and your heart accepts them as seeds. God is God/Father—for real. You know your parents are to be honored for starting you—but not for finishing you! Theft and adultery are wrong intrinsically—not because a law forbids it. You have gotten past the uttering of words—and see their power.

Words no longer flow around you like air—but you breathe them into your heart, they penetrate your calloused, tired adulthood to give you new Life, a re-birth of insight and joy. The Ten Commandments—you now see—are not military policemen requiring obedience, but a Father’s words expecting your love in return.

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