Parable of the Sower: Will we accept the challenge to bear good fruit?

Sharon Priester

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/July 16

Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 65:10,11,12-13,14; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23

The people of Israel struggled many years while they were in exile. Throughout all these years, God did not abandon them. His power and love for the people were evident. Not only did He bring forth the rain and snow to water the earth and make it fertile and fruitful, but He empowered the seeds to grow so that bread could be made.

In the second reading, St. Paul expresses hope. He “considered” that the suffering we do now is nothing compared to what lies ahead — the glory of being with Jesus forever. We would be “set free from slavery to corruption.” (Romans 8:21) We wait in hope, await our redemption. As we wait we are called to open our ears to God’s Word to participate in works of mercy, peace and justice and spread the Word to all that we meet.

Along the rich soil, we hear the Word and understand it, bear fruit and share it with others. We are all encouraged to take His Word to heart and help it take root in us.

In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks to the people in a parable. A parable is defined as a fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or religious principle. A disciple of Jesus asks, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus explained that it was a way to help the people understand something they are familiar with. In the Gospel, it says “This is why I (Jesus) speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see, and hear but do not listen or understand.”

Jesus stood by the shore and shared the Parable of the Sower, in which some of the seed fell along a path, some on rocky ground, some among the thorns, and the last seed on rich soil. The seed that fell along the path laid on top of the soil and soon after, never having a chance, was eaten up by the birds. The seed along the rocky ground burned up quickly because the rocks were so hot. However, the seed that fell on rich soil was very productive. “The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.” (Psalm 65:10)

OPPORTUNITY LOST OR FOUND?

We, too, have an opportunity to pick up the seed. We might be walking along the path and hear the Word of God and His Kingdom without really understanding. Would we look for a way to understand the Word?

As we walk along the rocky ground, we hear the Word and receive it with joy. But it only lasts for a short time because it is not really rooted in us.

If we stand among the “thorns,” we hear the Word, but temptation, troubles, worldly anxiety lure us away and we bear no fruit.

Along the rich soil, we hear the Word and understand it, bear fruit and share it with others. We are all encouraged to take His Word to heart and help it take root in us.

As Kenneth Ogorek says in “The Gospel Truth,” “The seed is the Word of God, Christ is the sower. All who come to him will have life forever.”

SHARON PRIESTER has served as a parish catechist and director of religious education, Bible study leader, RCIA team member and coordinator, and regional director of religious education for the Diocese of Peoria. She is a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Bloomington.

 

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
© Copyright 2020 - The Catholic Post || 2 || All Rights Reserved || Design by TBare.com