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THE SOWER: 15th ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR A] – Matthew 13:1-9

Jakarta, 16 July 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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A BEAUTIFUL PARABLE OF JESUS IN THE FIELD OF FARMING

A BEAUTIFUL PARABLE OF JESUS IN THE FIELD OF FARMING

(A biblical reflection on the 15th Ordinary Sunday [Year A] – 16 July 2017)

 

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:1-9 (longer version: Matthew 13:1-23) 

First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalms: Psalm 65:10-14, Second Reading: Romans 8:18-23

The Scripture Text

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about Him, so that He got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And He told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:1-9 RSV) 

Methods of farming in Jesus’ day were very different from the methods modern farmers use. Today’s farmer plows the field before scattering the seed, but in biblical times farmers reversed the process. The first-century farmer scattered the seed on the ground first and then turned over the soil. We must keep this in mind when reading today’s Gospel.

Because the seed rested on top of the ground for a while before the farmer plowed the soil, the wind sometimes blew it to an area the farmer did not intend it to be. This explains how some of the seed landed on the foot path and how some of it ended up on the rocky ground or among the thorns.

In the analogy in today’s Gospel, the seed represents the word of God and the different places where the seed landed represent different kinds of people and their response to the Gospel message. The rocky soil stands for the person who hears God’s word but does not allow it to take root. Letting the seed take root means letting the Gospel message make a difference in a person’s life. It means living out one’s commitment to Jesus by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick or lonely.

Some of the seed landed among thorns which represent worldly cares like fame, power, and money. When these become the center of a person’s life, there isn’t much time or energy left for prayer and spiritual matters.

Some seed landed on the footpath. This symbolizes the person who hears God’s word but doesn’t take time to study Scripture and, therefore, doesn’t understand it. As a result, the Gospel message cannot make much of a difference in this person’s life.

Finally some of the seed fell on good soil where it produced a yield of thirty, sixty, or a hundred-fold. The good soil represents people who are spiritually fruitful because they not only hear God’s word but also understand it and live it. Since a farmer in Jesus’ day would have been extremely proud of such a large harvest, we can assume Jesus is proud of us when His word takes root and grows in our lives.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, God, open my heart to the power of God’s word in the Scripture. Help me to learn God’s ways. Make me into good soil that receives the seed of Your precious word and bears in me the fruit of your love.

Jakarta, 13 July 2017 

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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SAINT BONAVENTURE [1221-1294], Bishop & Doctor of the Church – Memoria: 15 July

St. Bonaventure was born about the year 1218 at Bagnoregio in Tuscany. He studied philosophy and theology at Paris, where he gained his Master’s degree, and then taught the students of the order. He became Minister General of the Franciscan Order and ruled the order with great wisdom and prudence, and later became Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He wrote many influential works in philosophy and theology, and died at Lyons in the year 1274.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, on this feast of Saint Bonaventure, enlighten our minds with the splendor of his teaching, and help us to imitate his ardent love of you. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 15 July 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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PSALM 37:3-4 (Part of the Psalm Reading for today’s Mass)

Jakarta, 14 July 2017

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
 

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JOHN 15:13

Jakarta, 13 July 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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PSALM 33:2 (Part of the Psalm Reading for today’s Mass)

Jakarta, 12 July 2017

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
 

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SAINT BENEDICT, ABBOT – Memoria: 11 July

Born at Norcia in Umbria about the year 480. After studying at Rome, he led a life of solitude in Subiaco and gathered disciples around him, and then went on to Monte Cassino. Here he founded a well-known monastery and wrote his Rule, as a result of which he has been called the Father of monasticism in the West. He died on  21 March 547, but from the end of the eighth century he has been venerated on 11 July in many places.

Prayer: Heavenly Father,  You appointed Saint Benedict to be a wise master in the school of Your service. Give us grace to put Your love before all else, and so to run with joy in the way of Your commandments. We make our prayer in the name our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 11 July 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in SAINTS WE LOVE

 

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