A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:1-23
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But 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.”
REFLECTIONS: "But 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.”
Gardening has shown us that with proper care, soil, fertilizer and just the right light, sun and water, plants and trees can flourish. It takes a lot of work. So when one sees beautiful gardens, beautiful flowers and plentiful crops of vegetables we can understand that there was a lot of work done for success.
The Inca of Peru adopted terrace farming. They lived in the mountains and flatlands were rare. They simply created flatlands along side of the mountain. Aqueducts were built to channel the rain water. The Incas were successful farmers cultivating their crops in hilly or mountainous sides. These terraces were built to make the most efficient use of shallow soil and to enable irrigation of crops. Potatoes and corn were their main crops. They were determined to make farming successful as their sustenance depended on this.
When God sows seed, it falls on many different people. God is willing to patiently wait as He sows His word on different soils hoping that what He sowed will come back with fruit.
Some of us may have the soil of indifference, and we are unable to see the significance of His Word.
Sometimes the seed does penetrate and it might take root but there are so many worries and busyness of life that it might not establish a deep root.
Some will allow the seed to grow but it might just be a “Sunday burst of growth” as we attend Mass. We are filled with the "Sunday holiness" but then we lose it on Monday.
Then with maturity and good cultivation we can become fertile recipients of God’s Word.
And how do we get to this point? Like the Incas, hard work, working sometimes against the impossible but believing it will happen. Our tiller is the Holy Spirit. How can we possibly fail if our effort is in the work?
Whether we want to or not, our day should first begin with morning prayer thanking God for the day and praising Him. Reading Scripture, fasting, sacrificing, attending Mass on Sunday and maybe daily, Eucharistic adoration, frequent confession all make for fertile soil.
"But 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.”
So do not give up. Work on your salvation because your eternity depends on it. Plant seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control along the way.
Praying that our priests will show us the way, persist in pursuing our souls and never give up on the one soul out of 100 that is saved.
Pray the Prayer for Priests.
God Bless You