©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Gospel: (Matthew 13:1-9 / The Parable of the Sower)
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow, and as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Reflection: My Friends,
Parables are so exciting, and today’s is especially exciting. Is Jesus the Sower, or is the Holy Spirit the Sower; or actually is every single Christian the Sower? How can we be true followers of Jesus if we are not Sowers? I was just thinking about this the other day. You know how many complain about how “many” are lost and how many do not want to hear about Jesus or faith or anything that is moral anymore? I know, isn’t that so sad how our society has changed so much. Unfortunately all we are able to do sometimes is pray for them and live by our example. Consider this my sisters and brothers, after we plant the seeds –the growing is in God’s hands. Yes we can help them grow with unconditional love, understanding and by the example of how we live our lives and how it has changed our lives for the better with Jesus. But in the end God alone is the only one who shall help those seed grow.
Is your mind closed (1)? Is your life guided by emotion (2)? Or maybe your mind just wanders around often and is so easily distracted (3)? But then maybe, hopefully you are a well-grounded good hearer who is rooted deep in God’s word (4)? There is so much wisdom here to be thought about. Maybe you have never considered any of these thoughts, or maybe you never understood why you never felt well-grounded. Hopefully these thoughts might help lead you closer to Jesus and deeper into His word.
(1) “…some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.” This soil wasn’t even soil at all; being of closed mind is the only way to understand this “soil”. Who would ever expect a seed to be able to grow, lying on a path? Any animal can easily devour it, a heavy wind can blow it away, there is really nothing even allowing the seed to gain any sort of root. How sad to even think one would even say they are a Christian in this state of faith. There is no way that God’s word can gain any root here.
(2) “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away..” How many people immediately receive God’s word, and sing on top of the roof tops and then all of a sudden, you never see or hear from them again. Without spiritual depth, full surrender of spirit and a true character of faith there is no way that someone can possibly stay excited and focused on Jesus. Emotion is the guiding force here, which is unstable and inconsistent. Those that fall into this category, really also have no root, and their understanding of what it really means to be born-again is not understood and people like this easily backslide.
(3) “Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.” Does your mind wander? Do the worries and pleasures of this world distract you and keep you away from really knowing and loving Jesus? I don’t mean just a Sunday Catholic, Jesus died for us for all days, not just Sunday. You know the distractions of this world are subtle in their approach; you know who wouldn’t like a nice home, couple new cars, vacations unlimited; yes all that stuff would keep your heart away from Jesus, it doesn’t have to, but it could. These distractions are only more nails in our coffin, for the coffin that never makes it to Heaven. Consider the humble life of poverty. You know the word poverty doesn’t mean “broke”. If you are wealthy, you can still live the life of humility and you can still live in a state of spiritual poverty. Simply stop being so selfish and prideful about yourself, care for others with what God has blessed you with. Stop meeting all your whims. Go on a “not buying for me” fast. And instead do things for others. Think about it. Help the people and the families you know need someone to step in and help them.
(4) “Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” This is where you want to be, in good soil; a soil that brings forth grain and multiples. For some of us this is just a matter of mindset or better of heart-set, focusing on and really loving Jesus as Lord. Once you become sold out to Him and you really truly love Him, you will have deep roots in his word, and you will want to tell everyone about His love, His word, His mercy, oh so much to share, you won’t be able to shut up and sit down. LOL. Like I always say, you are either in, or you are out. If you are in, then you need to be fully in… Jesus didn’t die “partially”, He died fully for us. We to, must die fully for Him. Consider taking this step, a step that only leads you closer to Jesus... do it today.
Pondering these thoughts today: How hungry are you for God’s word? How hungry are you and how much desire do you have to stay focused and attentive to His word? I think the main focus throughout this parable is actually the “soil”. Yes the Sower is importantly noted and obviously the seed is the key (God’s word) to the entire process. So let’s look at the soil, Jesus shares with us four kinds of soil that probably is examples of where we are spiritually in our life. Which one of these probably best describes us? And which one would we like to be, or even better, prefers to be? Jesus first – others second – we must remain last; by our example and our commitment to our Lord, we to can help encourage others to devote their lives to Jesus.
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS
(Revised from an earlier blog of mine in 2011.)