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Matthew 13:1-9

 

The Sower by Jean Francois Millet

In our Gospel today Jesus is telling the parable of the “Sower and the Seed” to the crowd.  Most of us are quite familiar with the story.  The Sower is Christ.  The seed is the Good News.  And the soils are the minds and hearts of each of us.

What Jesus is teaching is that his good news is having an effect comparable to the fruit produced in the parable. For all too many who hear the word it produces nothing.  The faith of some gets choked out by the brambles of material concerns and interests and so it dies.  For others it never develops because the soil lacks the depth and moisture required for people to practice their faith.  For others it is carried away by the birds who dream up manmade religions about what they would like faith to be.  The result is agnosticism, atheism and pseudo religions.  In these cases the seed dies and there can be no harvest.

In the parable some seed produced fruit 30, 60 or 100 fold.  It seems that even in the good soil the seed sowed produced various quantities of harvest.  Although these seeds were all sowed in good ground, owing to the composition of the soil according to the percentage and variety of the elements, some crops do better than others.  Soil might have a greater or lesser clay content or sandy concentration.  Ground can be more or less alkaline or acidic.  These various conditions of the soil can be changed by the skillful farmer who wants to plant wheat or changed in another way by the farmer who wants to plant grapes.

Now the Scriptures with Jesus’ parables continue to live on and nourish believers forever.  Today we know the seed is the same Good News and the soil is still the minds and hearts of each of us.  And a good bet is that anyone taking the time to read these reflections has good seed-soil capable of producing a worthwhile harvest.

However, augmenting the analogy of the parable, the challenge might be for us to try to improve the soil of our minds and hearts.  Tilling the ground can always enrich it. Just as greater attention when participating in the sacraments and reciting our prayers can deepen our faith.  Perhaps there could be further mulching through a more consistent prayer life or charitable outreach to the needy.  Or the texture of the soil could be improved by fertilizing it with further Scripture study, some volunteering activity, or in other ways.  After improving our seed-soil we might not notice that much difference in the harvest in this life but in the next life we will be happy to learn that our harvest increased 30, 60 or 100fold.

By Howie Kalb

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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