There is an ocean of goodness in everyone, but everyone does not see it. Although each child is born with the seeds of God’s precious gift of goodness, focusing on this gift does not come naturally. We must develop and nurture it as we grow.
We start in our families, where we see the gift of goodness expressed in the interactions with one other. And we extend our expression of it as we move out into our larger communities.
In the Gospel today, we heard the parable of the sower and the seeds. Listening to this parable, it is more gratifying to focus on the seeds that fell on the good ground, which conveyed positive thoughts of intrinsic goodness than to focus on the seeds that fell on the rocky grounds or among thorns, which conveyed negative thoughts.
Seeing the goodness does not mean that we ignore problems or difficulties or deny them. It means that we can genuinely see goodness in our God-given life and nourish it.
Research at Harvard University showed that typically a person needs six times the number of positive comments for every negative one to believe the truth of their goodness. One teacher in a high school class asked the students to write on a piece of paper one good thing that they saw in each of their classmates. Then the teacher collected the comments without the names of the writers, compiled the comments for each targeted student and distributed them to those students. Reading so many positive comments from their classmates, transformed the members of the class for the rest of the year and many for the rest of their lives. (An Unforgettable Classroom Exercise--by freeHUGSrock, posted Nov 15, 2015.)
We easily get in the habit of focusing on what is wrong with us instead of focusing on the good seeds that God has sown in us.The more we focus on the goodness, the more we unconsciously crowd the negativity out of our life and that of our families.
Whatever is bothering you now, whatever negativity you carry now can be replaced with goodness that is intrinsically sown in our hearts by the Creator.
Let us pray that we become mirrors of goodness in our homes and society.
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About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.