15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“A sower went out to sow his seed.”
The Lord is the sower in this Sunday’s gospel (Matthew 13:1-23) and he scatters seeds everywhere! God is at work in each area of our lives. He even plants seed in areas where there is very little chance of growth, in case we might find them there. Every farmer knows that if a seed grows into a valuable plant, it is wealth. Let’s see what chokes off the “wealth” Jesus is trying to grow in our lives.
Some seed fell on stony ground. Much of the ground around Israel was shallow with a layer of stone under the soil. Seeds scattered here would not be able to have deep roots. Though they sprout quickly, when the heat and drought comes, such seeds will wither and die. Just so, in order for our relationship with God (or any relationship) to survive, it cannot be based just on feelings. Instead, God encourages us to grow deep roots by patience, by prayer and by suffering, which proves our love.
Some seed fell amid thorns and weeds. The area between different owners’ fields would be filled with thistles. Seeds scattered there might grow, and the strongest might even survive, but the weeds would usually grow faster and compete with the good plants. Just so, if my life is overflowing with distractions, media, possessions, and I have no time for God, for prayer, for church, for my family and the things that really matter; I may end up with a big crop of worthless weeds at the end because I didn’t make time for what was really important and allowed trivial things to take over.
Some seed fell on the path. Between each row of crops would be a common path that many would travel on. Like water off a duck’s back, seed that falls here won’t have a chance. If God gave me a big opportunity in my life, would I recognize it? Would I realize God was trying to get through to me? Many people’s hearts are too hard for God to get a word in edgewise. He won’t force his way in, because he created us to be free to choose. God will gladly open a hard heart if he is invited in.
Some seed fell on good ground. Not every seed that Jesus scatters in our life will bear fruit, so we should not be discouraged if we blow it once in a while. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, my heart can be like a fertile field. What is my response to Christ? By listening to the Spirit speaking through the church, the scriptures, our conscience, the needs of others and the circumstances of the present moment, my yield can be thirty, sixty, even a hundred fold. This is the wealth we will have waiting for us in eternal life!