15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel reading from Chapter 13 of Matthew is one with which we are all familiar. From our early childhood days in Sunday school or catechism classes, we heard the story about the sower and the unlucky seeds that fell on thorny ground and the lucky seeds that fell on fertile ground. For most of us, the parable was likely described by our teachers as God as the sower and our hearts as the ground. Sometimes our hearts are open to his word, and the message of God grows in us and is apparent in our thoughts, words and deeds. And sometimes our hearts are like the scorched earth, and the word of God does not take root and we, too, wither.
But is this the only way to look at this wonderful reading? How else can we project ourselves into the reading? Maybe in addition to us being the soil, we should also consider the role of the sower and visualize ourselves as the one who is casting the seeds into the dirt, whether fertile or scorched.
I think so, for the Word of God is too powerful for us not to want to share by spreading the seeds of the Gospel. So, in addition to us listening with purpose to the Word of God with an open heart, so that we might grow in grace and faith, we need to share our seeds of faith with others.
Maybe the easiest way to share our seeds of faith is by how we live our lives, for our actions speak louder than our words. Are our daily thoughts focused on the teachings of the Gospel, or are they focused on what we can get shipped for free from Amazon?
Do we speak kindly about those we love and about those we donít but should, or are we oblivious to those around who could use a word of encouragement, because we have our heads down, constantly trolling our cellphone for the latest text or email update?
Are we willing to reach out and help those who are in need, by sharing our time and talents, or are our seeds of faith left in the sowerís bag, where they will do no good and most likely rot?
As we practice our Daily Examen, reflect on the seeds God is sowing each and every day at your feet. Are they falling on fertile soil, ready to sprout and take hold, or are they falling on scorched earth, where they will soon wither and die? Realize that Godís presence and the seeds he is casting are found not only at Mass or while we are reading this reflection, but in each and every step we take on our journey called life.
We must not forget to look at ourselves as sowers. What are we doing in our thoughts, words and deeds that truly demonstrates our deep desire to live our life in alignment with the Gospel?† Living our faith is so much more than going to Mass. The personal satisfaction we experience, and the positive impact we have on those with whom we interact, is so much greater when we share with them the importance of our faith and our relationship with God.†
It is said when you carry the Bible, Satan gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When you sees you reading it, he faints. When he sees that you are living what you read, he flees.
The Word of God builds up our faith. We can hear God speaking straight to our heart, comforting us and giving us new hope and courage.
Fr. A. Francis HGN