15th.Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). July 16, 2023.
What is the best and easiest way to help people understand God's kingdom? Like the rabbis of his time, Jesus very frequently used parables - short stories and images taken from everyday life - to convey hidden truths about the kingdom of God. In other words, Jesus’ parables are like buried treasure waiting to be discovered (Matt. 13:44).
Life Message: How do you listen to God's word? Jesus' parable of the Sower is aimed at the hearers of his word. There are different ways of accepting God's word and they produce different kinds of fruit accordingly. There is the prejudiced hearer who has a shut mind. Such a person is unteachable and blind to what he or she doesn't want to hear. Then there is the shallow hearer. He or she fails to think things out or think them through; they lack depth. They may initially respond with an emotional reaction; but when it wears off their mind wanders to something else.
Another type of hearer is the person who has many interests or cares, but who lacks the ability to hear or comprehend what is truly important. Such a person is too busy to pray or too preoccupied to study and meditate on God's word. Then there is the one whose mind is open. Such a person is always willing to listen and to learn, in order to understand. He or she is never too proud or too busy to learn. God gives grace to those who hunger for his word that they may understand his will and have the strength to live according to it. One thing is sure, as God’s creatures, we have the potential, the freedom to be good, rich, and productive soil!
Conclusion: The parables of Jesus will enlighten us if we approach them with an open mind and heart, ready to let them challenge us. However, if we approach them with the conviction that we already know the answer, then we, too, may look but not see, listen but not understand.
One lesson from this parable is clear: the harvest is sure to come. While some seed will fall by the wayside and some fall on shallow ground and never come to maturity, and some be choked to death by the thorns; nonetheless a harvest will come. The seed that falls on good soil, on the heart that is receptive, will reap abundant fruit. God is always ready to speak to each of us and to give us understanding of his word. Do you allow anything to keep you from submitting to God's word with joy and trusting obedience?