July 12, 2020
The Word of the Father, Jesus Christ, is the sower who sows and is the sown Seed that fertilizes the earth.
Reading the book of Isaiah 55, 10-11
This is what the Lord says:
“As rain and snow come down from the sky,
and they don’t go back there until after they soak the land,
to fertilize it and make it germinate,
to seed the sower
and bread he eats,
so will my word coming out of my mouth:
won’t come back to me empty,
but will fulfill my wish
and will carry out my commission.”
Come out 64, 10. 11. 12-13. 14
R/. The seed fell into good soil and bore fruit.
You take care of the land, you water it
and you enrich it without measure;
God’s ditch is full of water,
you prepare the trigales. R/.
That’s how you prepare the earth.
Water the furrows,
you match the lumps,
your drizzle leaves them fluffy,
bless their sprouts. R/.
You crown the year with your assets,
your lanes ooze abundance;
ooze the pastures of the moor,
and the hills are prayed with joy. R/.
The meadows are covered with herds,
and the valleys are dressed as meses,
who cheer and sing. R/.
Reading the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans 8, 18-23
I believe that the sufferings of now cannot be compared to the glory that will one day manifest itself to us. For creation, expectant, is awaiting the manifestation of God’s children; indeed, creation was subjected to frustration, not by its will, but by the one who subdued it, in the hope that creation itself would be liberated from the bondage of corruption, to enter into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
Because we know that to this day all creation is moaning and suffering from labor pains.
And not only that, but we too, who possess the firstfruits of the Spirit, moan within us, awaiting filial adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 13, 1-23
That day, Jesus left home and sat by the sea. And so many people came to him that he had to get on a boat; sat down and all the people stood on the shore. He spoke many things to them in parables:
“The sower came out to sow. When sowing, a part fell to the edge of the road; the birds came and ate it. Another part fell into stony ground, where it had hardly any land, and as the earth was not deep it sprouted immediately; but as soon as the sun came up, it burned and for lack of root it was seded. Another fell into buckles, which grew and drowned her. Another fell into good soil and bore fruit: one, one hundred; another, sixty; another, thirty.
Whoever has ears, let him hear.”
The disciples approached him and asked him:
“Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He answered them:
“You have been made known the secrets of the kingdom of heaven and you have not.
Because the one he has will be given and will have plenty, and the one who does not have, will be taken away from him until what he has. That’s why I speak to you in parables, because you look without seeing and listening without hearing or understanding. This is how Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them:
‘You will hear with your ears without understanding; they will look with their eyes unaff seen;
because the heart of this people is dull, they are hard by ear, they have closed their eyes;
not to see with his eyes, nor to hear with his ears, nor to understand with his heart,
nor convert for me to heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes because you see and your ears because you hear. I truly tell you that many prophets and righteous wanted to see what they see and did not see, and to hear what they hear and did not hear it.
You, then, hear what the parable of the sower means:
if one hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, the Evil One comes and steals what is sown in his heart. This means what is planted on the edge of the road.
What is sown in stony ground means he who hears the word and accepts it immediately with joy; but it has no roots, it is fickle, and as soon as a difficulty or persecution comes for the word, it immediately succumbs.
The sown among the buckles means the one who hears the word; but the cares of life and the seduction of riches drown out the word and remain barren.
What is sown on good ground means he who hears the word and understands it; it bears fruit and produces one hundred or sixty or thirty for one.”
The first reading of the prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is always alive, active, flooding the world with his presence and message in a thousand ways and ways, regardless of our attitude more or less in keeping with Him, more or less open to his truth and love for us. His plan of salvation over humanity is always moving forward and will not be thwarted. Implicitly we are presented to Christ and his saving mission; He who is the Word, who comes out of the father’s mouth, will fulfill his task and return to the Father after he has fulfilled his desire to fertilize the earth, as a sower and as a seed.
The saying goes that an image is worth a thousand words. Today’s Gospel presents us not one but three images full of meaning and provocative of reflection: the sowing sower, the sown seed and the ground on which the seed falls. Three images with which we can identify each of us; Jesus himself is also clearly identified with at least two of them, the sower and the seed.
In the text, we notice how Jesus Himself explains the meaning of the third image. the ground that receives the seed… diversified with four other images: the hard road, the stony terrain, the tangled bush and the good, fertile land.
They were standing, on the shore of the lake, listening to Jesus, who had sat on a boat. Most of them were poor workers, paid peasants, tired of working a ungrateful, rocky and arid land, as was the land of Palestine. Jesus spoke to them of the Kingdom through parables. This time it was the parable of the sower.
The Evangelist Matthew tells us the parable. He writes to some Christian communities around him, tired of preaching in deaf ears, in the midst of a disbelid and hostile society, oblivious to the values of the Kingdom of God, unaware of the proposals of the Risen Lord. A society similar to ours.
The richness of the evangelizer is the Word of God, just as the seed is the richness of the sower; the challenge of the sower is the quality of the various lands that receive the seed; and the challenge of the evangelizer is the complexity of the various listeners.
But in order to sow, that is, to be a sower, it is necessary to have let himself be sown and fertilized by the Word. The obligatory question today is how is my heart before God who constantly addresses me with His Word? Perhaps hard as the road, impenetrable; perhaps stony, or full of buckles; maybe also, at least in part, I’m good, fertile land.
The second question should be am I seed that is sown? The Christian is the one who makes his life a gift to others like Jesus Christ himself, a task not easy. To sow is to leave your skin in the groove, is to be willing to die… because if the grain does not fall to the ground and dies it bears no fruit. To sow is to be willing to fall to the edge of the road and let yourself be pecked by birds, be willing to fall into stony terrain and let yourself be scorching by the sun, be willing to fall between brambles… anyway, to be willing to sacrifice life, even if such a sacrifice seems useless and failed.
Today’s third question should be, do I want to be a sower in the style of Jesus? I am sown ground, seed that is sown, but I can also be a sower. Sower that when he goes crying, throwing away the seed, but that, when he returns, he returns singing bringing the sheaves, the harvest. Sower of the Word of God in the hearts of the men and women of our time, especially with my work and testimony of life.
The whole creation, as the second reading tells us, is waiting, waiting with pains of childbirth, for the full manifestation of God’s children.
Blessed are we because we see and hear, for from faith we can better understand what God wants from us, the meaning of life. We’re privileged. And therefore, we cannot waste time, we must get to work, we must sow. God expects much from us; our society too.
Lord Jesus, I also thank you today for your word full of life, which challenges me and enlightens me. Grant me your light to see, open my ears to hear, give me your wisdom to understand, open my heart to you and give me the grace of true conversion to you.
I want to be, Lord, the good land in which your seed sprouts and gives one hundred for one; show me not to harden like the impenetrable land of the way, not to let the cares of the world drown the strength of your Spirit in me; help me so that my superficialities and deficiencies do not disable the grace that You put in my heart.
I also want to be, Lord, the water that fertilizes the earth and quenches thirst, the seed that spreads everywhere, the grain of wheat that loses its life to give it, the treaded grape that waters the world of joy, the bread that is split and spreads to satisfy hunger, the voice that takes your Word to the ends of the world.
I also want to be, Lord, a sower in the style of the Good Sower. Sower of joys and hopes, of peace and new life, of solidarity and fraternity, of dialogue and reconciliation, of conversion and holiness, of the Gospel and Church. Sower that waters the furship with the sweat that falls from its forehead, that leaves life at every step, that gets tired but does not abandon, that does not lose its way in its noble eagerness, even if the day is hard and long.
Sower of the Word, sower of men, sower whose joy is in that alone, sowing. You will water the seed and give the increase. Others will collect the harvest and store it for eternal life.
I want to be a sower, just a sower, in the style of the Good Sower Jesus. Amen.