July 20, 2016

The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some 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.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

7.20

Reflection (Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura)

When we were children, we were asked what we want to be when we grow up. In class we brought symbols like toys that would describe our ambition. One of my classmates brought an airplane because he wanted to be a pilot. Some brought a toy car (policeman), a stethoscope (doctor) and an apron (chef). I remembered I brought a small book because I wanted to become a teacher. More than two decades after, not all of us have fulfilled our ambitions. Some changed their minds; others have never been that close to reaching their ambitions.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples the Parable of the Sower. When farmers start planting their chosen crops, they usually sow the seeds everywhere in their lands. This is why many seeds that are scattered fell in unsuitable grounds. Yet while much is wasted, the seed that falls on good ground bears fruit in extraordinarily large measure.

In the same way, when we were children, we are like seeds sown on the ground. Not all have reached their ambitions because of other factors. Rocky grounds could mean poverty or lack of concern from parents, while grounds full of thorns could mean a life that is full of vices and bad influence. These factors hinder the child from reaching his or her ambition.

Since a parable contains figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding, only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. Understanding is a gift of God. When we hear the Word of God that is proclaimed in Mass, do we really understand its meaning? Do we care to understand God who is speaking to us in parables? “Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Let us listen to understand God in our lives.