The words you have spoken are spirit and life, O Lord; you have the words of eternal life. John 6:63, 68
Bountiful God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your word: by your Holy Spirit, help us to receive it with joy, and to live according to it, that we may grow in faith and hope and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
- Genesis 25:19-34
- Psalm 119:105-112
- Romans 8:1-11
- Matthew 13:1-23
- Next week:
- Genesis 28:10-19a
- Psalm 139:1-11
- Romans 8:12-25
- Matthew 13:24-43
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 7 – Matthew 13:1-23
The parable of the sower: “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear …” 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”
Chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel is the evangelist’s collection Jesus’ parables. The word “parable” comes from the Greek word parabole, which means putting two things side by side in order to confront or compare them. And that is exactly how Jesus uses parables: He place a simile from life or nature against the abstract idea of the reign of God. the comparison challenges the hearer to consider ideas and possibilities greater and larger than those to which they might be accustomed.
Jesus’ hearers expected God’s kingdom to be the restoration of Israel to great political and economic power; the Messiah would be a great warrior-king who would lead Israel to this triumph. Jesus’ parables subtly and delicately led people, without crushing or disillusioning them, to rethink their concept of God’s kingdom.
In Palestine, sowing was done before the ploughing. Seed was not carefully or precisely placed in the ground. The farmer scattered the seed in all directions, knowing that, even though much will be wasted, enough will be sown in good earth to ensure a harvest nonetheless. The parable of the sower (which appears in all three synoptic gospels) teaches that the seed’s fruitfulness (God’s word) depends on the soil’s openness (the willingness of the human heart to embrace it).
The parable of the sower challenges us to see how deeply the word of God has taken root in our lives, how cetnral God is to the very fabric of our day-to-day existence.
Christ invites his followers to embrace the faith of the sower: to trust and believe that our simplest acts of kindness and forgiveness, our humblest offer of help to anyone in need, our giving of only a few minutes to listen to the plight of another soul may be the seeds that fall “on good soil” and yields an abundant harvest.
Jesus challenges us in the parable of the sower to be both sower and see: to sow seeds of encouragement, joy and reconciliation regardless of the “ground” on which it is scattered, and to imitate the seed’s total giving of self that becomes the harvest of Gospel justice and mercy.
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