30 January 2019. Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
What is the first commandment that God has given to the Israelites? “Hear O Israel!” (Deuteronomy 6:4). He asked them to listen. And to do this, it is not merely offering the right or left ear. It is being present with one’s whole heart, strength and soul. For before the Word enter into man’s knowledge, He enters into his ears and radiates in man’s consciousness. In the New Testament, a new Teacher came to man who never quoted nor mentioned any former human teacher of His time. Jesus is the new Teacher; the God who reminded man to listen as He narrates the lessons from His parables. What hinders a man to respond? It is when one knows not how to listen. And that is the problem of those who never listen to what God has already sown in them – the seed of faith and truth.
I am now in my fourth year in theology. We have studied different aspects of our faith to which we are called to go deeper for we have that privilege of discovering the works of evangelists, Church Fathers, saints, and theologians through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But these will be left for nothing if we cannot live out what we have learned from the four walls of our classrooms. It will just be a fulfillment of requirements before ordination if we cannot use this knowledge in seeking people who are in the peripheries, those who are in despair, or those who have lost faith in God. We are not here just to discover the history of the Bible but rather we are moved to discover God in our everyday encounters.
We are now the new People of God – the one who are asked to listen; the one commanded to hear His voice with all our heart, strength and soul. I, who have received so much from my theological studies, have a greater responsibility of sharing it with others and live it out in my life, currently as a seminarian, and a minister of people in the future.
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.”