July 12, 2020
Fr. Ed Smith
Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23
Once again, this weekend, we encounter Jesus, the master storyteller. He uses parables to communicate with His disciples. And what is a parable? Maybe just a story or fable like Aesop’s with a nice moral at the end? Or, is it something more? Indeed it is. The parables of Jesus are not meant to give us some easy ‘sound-bite’ answer to life’s questions, but to make us think, pray, and, in the end, respond. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into our parable for this weekend. A sower’s seed is thrown on a footpath, on rocky ground, among thorns, and then on some on rich soil. Even those of us who do not have a ‘green thumb’ realize that planting seeds on a footpath, around rocks, or among thorns is asking for trouble. Jesus uses this image to teach us that WE are the soil that receives the seed: His message of Good News. So, He wants us to consider: what kind of soil are we, and how do we react to this message? Do we embrace it, but then find that it is easily lost because we have shallow roots? Do we receive it with joy at first, but then find that the message gets easily strangled by the thorns of anger or anxiety? Or…are we good soil, and listen to the word of Jesus, let it take root, allow it to grow deep within us, and then let it bear fruit in a life of love and service? These are good questions, although not the easiest to answer. Jesus knows this, and therefore uses the image of the seed being sown to help us reflect and then work on this important aspect of our faith. The seed is the message of Jesus. He calls us to love one another, to trust in His teaching, to be people of hope, and to be united as His brothers and sisters. In order for this to happen, we have to be humble [which, as you remember from your kindergarten Latin class, is a root word for ‘ground’ or ‘soil’ in which the seed is planted], make time for prayer, engage in loving service, and accept God’s plan for us. Jesus wants only the best for us. Are we ready to receive it and make ourselves the best ‘soil’ possible? Let’s use this week to reflect on what Jesus, the great storyteller is giving us in this parable, take it to heart, and, if needed, make some changes!