January 24, 2018
Memorial of St Francis of Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
The Gospel Today
On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed 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
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”
Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
There was once a brother who described God as a “wasteful” God. It is not to give a negative character of God but it is to emphasize how generous God is. It is clear to Him, even from the moment that He planned to create man, that we have our weaknesses and imperfections. And the moment that our first parents committed original sin, He knew very well our inclination to it. But God is very generous that He can even “waste” His blessing for us to grow and receive the fullness of our humanity.
Today’s Gospel compared God to a sower, and we are the soil. His Word came to us in the different situations of our life. He encounters us in our different dispositions amidst His presence. We are like the different type of soil. But He dared to sow seeds to us, His Word, even though we are not as receptive as the good soil. Despite the fact that we are not yet ready to have the seed of His grace, He believe in our capacity to become a good soil.
Am I a good soil already? Even I cannot say that I have reached that point in my life. But God has given me the chance to cultivate every seed that He is giving me. I know that I am not worthy. I may still have the stones in my life that blocks all His goodness. This can be compared to my hardened heart. But He continues to sow, for me to grow in mercy and love in as much as He is full of mercy and love. I may still have the thorns. These can be those hindrances for me to grow as a person. I may be in a stage where I am not yet appreciating my own personhood; that I am created good and can do good in as much as I received goodness from Him.
Many times we ignored that hope of goodness God had seen in us. He is continuously giving us the chance to nurture this. We are responsible as well to grow not just as a person but also as a recipient of His graces. With that, we can share the fruits of these graces because we have cultivated it in our hearts and let it bear fruit to be shared to others.