MEMORIAL OF SAINT PIUS OF PIETRELCINA, PRIEST
1 Timothy 6:13-16
In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that
‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.
Today’s scriptures act as an examination of conscience as we desire to be the good soil. Like St. Paul tells Timothy, we desire to keep the commandments without spot or blame. As we read the Gospel. we understand that this has less to do with our sin and more to do with how we receive the word of God.
When reading the parable of the sower, we compare ourselves to the different soils Jesus describes. We may have fallen away from God during a time of testing. We may have gotten caught up with the cares or the pleasures of this world and allowed our love of the Lord to grow lax.
Do I prioritize anything over God and my relationship with him? Do I hold fast to God’s word and endure with patience through my trials? If I fail, do I go to the Sacrament to reconcile and express my contrition? As we remember St. Padre Pio today, we see a saint who endured with the Lord through many trials and afflictions to the point of bearing in his body the wounds of Christ. Padre Pio suffered spiritually and physically for the Lord and his life bore great fruit bringing many souls to Jesus. Through his life and prayers, many souls found the path to heaven.
Today, we examine our hearts in relationship with God and his word. Bring your doubts or the places of your heart that are not rooted in the Lord to Jesus today and pray for the grace for his word to be firming planted in your heart so that you may never stray from him. St. Padre Pio, pray for us!