‘A sower went out to sow...’
Reflections on the readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 12, 2020): IS 55:10-11; PS 65:10,11,12-13,14; ROM 818-23; MT 13:1-23
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We cannot be followers of our Lord in name only.
The Gospel reveals Jesus addressing a great crowd of people gathered on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He gets into a boat and sits down to tell them a series of parables; seemingly simple stories based on ordinary situations that take on a significant spiritual connotation. In today’s reading, Jesus proceeds to tell them about a sower, someone who plants his fields by throwing handfuls of seed onto the earth. We hear that much of the seed is wasted because it falls where birds can devour it or on rocky ground or among thorns. “But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear” (Matthew 13:8-9).
While most of those gathered may be puzzled, our Lord explains the parable’s meaning to His Apostles. He wants them to grasp that the seed is the news of God’s kingdom. People who lack understanding, or have no real perseverance, or who allow worldly attractions or worries to distract them will never provide the open hearts and minds in which His words of salvation can thrive. The rich soil He mentions is fertile ground for His disciples to build His Church and share His love and truth with others. But each of us must allow His gifts to take hold within our souls and change our lives. We cannot be followers of our Lord in name only. We must allow His grace to flourish within us so that we, too, can preach the Gospel in all we say and do. Then everyone we meet can recognize our Redeemer in us, so they can follow Him for themselves.