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JULY 23. Ord Time B. Wk 16. Fri. Mt 13. 18-23

Updated: Sep 10

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’


What Christ is highlighting today is the importance of understanding his teachings; - as it is so easy to “read the gospels”; - but if our lives are to produce the fruit his teachings call for, we need to go much further than simply “reading” or “listening” to his message.


We need to ponder, to meditate, and to reflect, if we are to understand the divine truths his teachings reveal; - and if we want our lives to be sustained by those truths.


The parable of the sower illustrates this need beautifully; - with Jesus comparing his teachings; - and our Faith; - to a seed!


The parable highlights the potential for growth that is in every seed; - but only if it is provided with the right environment.


While every seed contain the potential for growth and the production of fruit, nothing will be produced unless it is cared for and nurtured.


And the parable also illustrates the many dangers and obstacles that prevent seeds from reaching their full potential.


Sadly, many of God’s people receive the seed of Faith; - but they do not any steps to provide for its care; - and this is the concern Christ is highlighting; -


That so many Christians are unaware of the potential for growth that is within the gift of Faith they have received!


The soil the seed of Faith requires for growth is Prayer, Sacrament, and Charity; - and if these are not provided one’s faith will simply wither and die.


So many people “hear the word of the kingdom without understanding; - so the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in their hearts!”


But the Gospel also highlights the alternative; - where one recognises and acknowledges the value of the gift they have been given:


“The one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; - he is the one who yields a harvest and produces a hundredfold; - now sixty, now thirty.’


Lord help us to understand and care for the gift of Faith with its potential for growth in holiness.


Gospel Acclamation cf.Lk8:15


Alleluia, alleluia!

Happy are they who have kept the word with a generous heart

and yield a harvest through perseverance.

Alleluia!


First reading Exodus 20:1-17 The Law given at Sinai


God spoke all these words. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

‘You shall have no gods except me.

‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God and I punish the father’s fault in the sons, the grandsons, and the great-grandsons of those who hate me; but I show kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments

.

‘You shall not utter the name of the Lord your God to misuse it, for the Lord will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.


‘Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath for the Lord your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the stranger who lives with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that these hold, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred.


‘Honour your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God has given to you.

‘You shall not kill.

‘You shall not commit adultery.

‘You shall not steal.

‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.’







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