September 20, 2014

The Gospel Today

Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions, Martyrs

Luke 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him
what the meaning of this parable might be.
He answered,
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you;
but to the rest, they are made known through parables
so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.

“This is the meaning of the parable.
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”

Reflection( Sem. Emmanuel Calumpong):

Farming or methods of  agriculture may vary from country to country, but one thing remains constant to ensure a good harvest: the diligence and sacrifice of the farmer/sower. However, the type of soil is also an important factor to be considered.

In the gospel today, the parable of the sower refers to the different attitudes in accepting the seed of the Word of God.  The rich soil is the ideal soil where the Word of God yields a bountiful harvest.  The seed that falls on the path, on the rocky ground, and among thorns, symbolize the unfertile grounds where the seed of the Word of God  can not grow and, thus, fails to produce the expected harvest.

While all these different kinds of soil can be applied to the different kinds of persons in their attitude toward the Word of God, it can also be applied to the different attitudes of every disciple or follower of Christ. In every disciple is present the different kinds of soil: there is a rich soil, the compacted one  similar to a path, the rocky ground with little soil and the soil with many thorns. The parable is an invitation for every disciple to look deeper into the self and, like the good farmer who works hard to ensure a bountiful harvest, to cultivate and enrich those areas where the seed of the Word of God has yet to take root and produce a good yield.  The Word of God will always bear the right fruits at the right time only if the heart is prepared not only to welcome it but also to cultivate it with sacrifices.

St. Thomas Aquinas was a man dedicated to the ministry of the Word.  He nourished this ministry with prayer and mortification.  He is famous for his Summa Theologiae  and has been called the “Angelic Doctor” because of the loftiness of his doctrine.  With God’s grace, he became a rich soil where the Word of God was made to be better understood and lived by the Church.

 

May the Lord help us to become a rich soil so we may live His Word more fully. Amen.

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