GOSPEL POWER | JULY 23, 2021 | FRIDAY | St. Bridget, Religious 16th Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 13: 18 - 23
Jesus said, “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Parables are not only pious stories with simple, straightforward lessons. Rather, they are wisdom-tales that provoke listeners to think deeply, and by asking questions, uncover their meaning. Even if Jesus interprets the parable in today’s Gospel, he is not simply spoon-feeding its meaning to his listeners, but continues to stimulate deep thinking. Have you ever wondered why the title Jesus has given to this parable is not “parable of the soil,” or “parable of the seed,” but “parable of the Sower?” What special meaning does that title convey? It seems to imply that, regardless of the response of the soil to the seed sown, the fate of the seed still rests in the hands of the Sower, who is the main protagonist of the parable. If such is the case, can you and I, who perhaps identify ourselves today with the path or the rocky or thorn-infested ground of the parable, trust the Sower to bring about a fruitful outcome to the work he has begun in the soil of our hearts?
Lord Jesus, we surrender to you the soil of our hearts. Make of it a fruitful ground for God’s Kingdom. Amen.