MATTHEW 13: 1-23 GOSPEL READING AND REFLECTION (JULY 12, 2020)
That same day, Jesus left the house and sat down by the lade-side. Many people gathered around him. So he got into the boat, and sat down, while the crowds stood on the shore; and he spoke to them in parables and about many things. Jesus said, “The sower went out to sow; and, as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path; and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil, and the seeds sprouted quickly, because the soil was not deep. But as soon as the sun rose, the plants were scorched; and withered, because they had no roots. Again, other seeds fell among thistles; and the thistles grew and choked the plants. Still, other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop: some a hundredfold, others sixty, and others thirty. If you have ears, then hear!”
Then the disciples came to him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. For the one who has will be given more; and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has. That is why! Speak to them in parables; because they look and do not see; they are hear, you do not understand. In them, the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled: However much you see, you do not perceive. For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back, and I will heal them. But bless are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because the hear. For I tell you, many prophets and righteous people have longed to see the things you see, but they did not see them; and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear them.
Now listen to the parable of the sower. When a person hears the message of the kingdom, but does not take it seriously, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed that fell along the footpath. The seed that fell on the rocky ground stands for the one who hears the word, and accepts it at once with joy. But such a person has no roots, and endures only for a while. No sooner is he harassed or persecuted because of the word, that he gives up. The seed that fell among the thistles is the one who hears the word; but then, the worries of this life and the love of money choke the word; and it does not bear fruit. As for the seed that fell on good soil, it is the one who hears the word and understands it; this seed bears fruit and produces a hundred, or sixty, or thirty times more.”
POINTS OF REFLECTION
The love and goodness of God is extremely wonderful and amazing. He has showered us all of His abundance without due regard to our sinfulness as He let rain fall and the sun shines to all regardless of who we are.
The seeds in this Bible reading are the words of God about His kingdom in heaven. The different soil condition from which these seeds are to be sown represents the human heart which could be doubting (soil along the footpath), uncommitted (rocky ground), worrying (ground full of thistles) and committed (good soil) heart.
With no exemption, everyone’s heart could be one of those mentioned above. If you possess a doubting heart, there exist greater tendencies that you be easily deceived by the works of evil thereby forgetting the good things received from the Father. If you possess an uncommitted heart you manifest quick tendencies to respond to God’s word but eventually lose faith appetite for some reason hard to understand which makes one complacent in his Christian living. If you possess a worrying heart your tendencies are too much attachment to the material world, love of money and fame. If you possess a committed heart your tendencies are to listen to God’s word, understand it and be able to grow in faith significantly by committing oneself unto Jesus and to the Father.
Regardless of who we really are : doubting heart, uncommitted heart, worrying heart and committed heart, His love and goodness to us will forever be non selective. He will always send down rains to all and let the sun shine to all until the judgment day.