Friday, July 8, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011 Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mt 13: 1-23) The Parable of Sower

Four students are preparing for their annual exams.

Student 1 lets his friends talk him into partying and hanging out instead of studying. He fails

Student 2 doesn't understand the material but doesn't ask for help. He fails.

Student 3 is studying hard, but the dorm is noisy and he gets distracted by it and doesn't absorb as much as he needs. He fails.

Student 4 is organized and makes sure that he has a tutor, has a quiet place to study and only hangs 
out with other students who want to study. He goes on to graduate...

The Sower is God, Jesus Christ and for us it is usually the priest who preaches. The seed is the word of God; the different soils are the people who receive it.  Whenever the word of God is preached, 
there could be also the four categories of people.

1.      The seeds on the path: These are the people who do not want to hear the word at all. They are like the pots which are kept upside down and therefore nothing can go inside. These people think that they know everything. They can never listen to people and they keep talking all the time. They try to impose their ideas and think that the others are not capable of generating any good ideas. They can also be compared to the people who prefer to stand outside the Church even when there is place inside the Church (do not misunderstand me). The people, who just want to receive Holy Communion but are not interested in the Readings of the mass, can very well fit into this group. They are like people who go straight to the dinner hall for the meals without attending the wedding reception for which they are invited. When the seed is on the path, naturally it will be trampled by many. Devil finds easy to take this people with him.

2.      Seeds on the Rocky ground: These are the people who make hasty decisions. When they are happy they will reach the heavens and when they are sad they will be in hell. They react very fast to the situation. They are usually impulsive in nature. The moment they listen to a good sermon, they will decide to follow whatever the preacher had recommended. They will take several resolutions but that fervor will remain only till they reach home. Once they reach home, they will start living the same old life. They are generally good hearted people but their will power is quite weak. They will make too many promises but very seldom will keep up their word.

3.      Seeds amidst the thorny bush: Comparing the above two categories, this is better. They will readily listen to the word of God, will try to follow in their life but once they are in a conflicting situation they will lose their sight. I knew of a family where a young man was looking for a life partner. It so happened, there were two proposals at the same time. One was a beautiful poor Catholic girl and the other was a beautiful rich Hindu girl. Whom to choose now? It is true there is nothing wrong in marrying a person from other religion, but what should be the priority? Is it the Catholic girl or is it the rich girl? We face several similar situations in which we need to make a choice between God and the world. What do we choose? If we choose the world, wealth and power against the Christian values we become the thorny bushes where there will not be any yield again.

4.      Seeds in the good soil: These are the people who give God the first priority in their life. They are not only regular for Sunday mass (I mean full mass) but they also try to follow God’s word. They will surely yield hundred fold but sometimes the yield will not be realized very soon. They had to be patient. They normally do not question saying, what is the use of living such a good life, amidst the miseries and sufferings. In all the life situations they thank God. It is not easy to be good soil. We should be ready to be ploughed, fertilized, tilled but at the end, the yield will be more. These are the people who will inherit the kingdom of God.

5.      Responsibility of the Sower: Even when Jesus the best preacher preaches, we find these four categories. But the only consolation is that we have this fourth category which will yield thirty, sixty and hundred fold. But if the seeds fail to completely yield even in the good soil, the blame could be also on the preacher. It is also his responsibility to preach the word or sow the word in a convincing and interesting way.

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