Sunday, July 12
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13: 1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Today’s Gospel is that of the sower. This brief passage is filled with symbolism starting with Our Lord as the sower and the seed being spread apparently everywhere is the Word. To people listening to Jesus speak this passage, they would have concluded that the sower is a pretty bad farmer. No competent farmer would be so careless with the sowing of seeds — the lifeblood of a farmer’s livelihood. Yet, the sower does just that. So, Jesus offers the Word to everyone with the hope of each person hearing it will bear its intended fruit. The burden then remains with each of us in how we shall receive the Word — and act upon it. Within each of us, we can accept or reject His Word to us. Seed sown on the path is heard, but is readily rejected because it appears to be too difficult or too unpopular. Seed sown on rocks is heard, understood initially and received with joy, but soon it is rejected because we lack the moral courage to follow through in the face of challenge. Seed sown on thorns is heard, but is rejected due to the many distractions of the world around us that prevents us from letting it sink in and act upon.
The many difficulties that prevent the seed from growing within us are often creations of our own making. Jesus makes no claim that it is an easy path. The challenges are real enough in the world in which we live today. That is why this parable is loaded with so much truth and so much difficulty. For each of our lives can be filled with ground made up of paths, rocks, and thorns. But, we also have the capacity of having good ground. Our journey is to let the seed sown on our own good ground to dominate our yield. That yield is sufficient to fill us with the joy of the Word and it will overcome the lack of yield from the seed that is lost to the paths, rocks, and thorns.
-Deacon Don Poirier