JULY 23. Ord Time B. Wk 16. Fri. Mt 13. 18-23
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
Happy are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.