The Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13:18-23)
“Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one, who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life. Grant that I may listen and preserve your precious word in my life.
Encountering Christ: Have you ever tried planting a garden from seed? It takes a lot of patience. More than I have for sure! I’m the kind of person who goes to the local Home Depot and buys a tomato plant already having small tomatoes on it so I can see instant success! There is no work in that – only instant gratification of having a plant that is already grown. I can even brag to my wife and those who happen to come by, that we have a crop almost ready to pick.
The type of sowing that Jesus refers to in the gospel today has a much deeper and longer lasting effect not only on ourselves but those we associate with each day. We are called to take gifts and spread them around and share them with others. We are called to cultivate and GROW our faith so that it bears fruit. So we must then ask ourselves what is the fruitfulness we are called to share with others.
When we go to Mass and receive Eucharist we are receiving the bread of life BUT we also are called to share that life giving bread with others. As we are fed, so we are called to help feed others. To sow or share our Eucharistic experience and relationship with others. We are also called to plant our experiences in others. We do that by sharing – verbally and by charitable acts.
Just as farmers tend to their crop they have planted, we are called to tend to our own gifts that have been planted in us since our very beginning. We are called to develop the talents and grow them. The Spirit also calls us to spread the talents and to water them with prayer as we grow them. We can do this IF we are able to take the risk that some of what we try and share with others may in fact go by the wayside.
The gospel today speaks to us in a way that it wants us to look deeper into ourselves and how we see the gifts – given by God – (our seeds) are planted. Do we allow them to take root for a lifetime or only for a season?
We encounter Christ every day in many ways. Question becomes – do we see and recognize the encounters OR do we simply move through our day oblivious of God speaking to us through others and our interactions with other people.
We must not try and rush our garden growth and we must make sure to tend to its growth daily. We must protect the garden from disease, which we call sin, and anything that causes our garden to be damaged. Think about how you are going to plant new life experience seeds in your garden (soul). Plant wisely!
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, open my mind and heart to your word. Help me to keep the soil of my soul always tilled and ready to receive your word. Give me right vision to live according to your will and bear fruit for your kingdom. Lord, today by your grace I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me to listen to his word and let go of whatever fills the space that he should possess.