July 12, 2020 – Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear 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.” (Matthew 13:18-23)
The sower sows seeds on several different types of ground — a path, rocky ground, among thorns, and finally in rich soil. Each of these surfaces represent us as believers, with the rich soil being “the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit…”
Perhaps there is another way to look at this parable. Maybe we are the seed in this story. Our job is take root and bear fruit:
- When we land on the path, do we become distracted and allow the Evil One to come and steal us away?
- When we land on the rocky soil, are we not persistent enough? Do we “last only for a time” because we give up?
- Among the thorns, are we not strong enough? Courageous enough? Are we unwilling to fight against “worldly anxiety” and the “lure of riches”?
- Our only success is in the rich soil? Are we teachers who can only teach the brightest students?
We are the seed, the Word of God, and our purpose is to take root and bear fruit. There are many more paths, rocks, and thorns out there than there is rich soil. We better roll up or sleeves and find the courage to fight if we are to have any chance of taking root in those tough terrains.
If not, the Evil One wins.