The parable of the sower
Today Fr Paul reads two passages from the Gospel of Matthew. The first (Matthew 13:1-9) is the parable of the sower, which comes before the reading we heard yesterday in which the disciples ask Jesus why he teaches in parables. In the second passage (Matthew 13: 18-23) Jesus explains what the parable of the sower means.
Jesus, in explaining the parable shows an understanding of the human condition, saying to the disciples that there are four ways in which a harvest can or can’t be produced in a person.
Firstly, Jesus talks of the person who fails to understand the Word that has been sown is his heart. That person fails to explore or deepen the Word they’ve been given. As we hear ‘the evil one’ comes and carries off the seed (the Word).
The second person that Jesus speaks of is where someone is given the seed or Word of God but it fails to take root; that’s where someone finds the faith opportune in the first instance but it becomes inconvenient when trials, difficulties or persecutions take place and so the faith (the Word) falls away.
The third person Jesus talks about is the one who lets all the cares and worries of this world, lets the riches of this world, choke and get in the way of listening and understanding the Word. By allowing these things to get in the way, like the other two, we produce nothing.
Then finally we hear Jesus explain that the faithful disciple receives the Word, listens to it and understands it. It is this person who will then produce a harvest.
For our reflection and prayer, Fr Paul invites us to pray with him that each of us can be the disciple who listens and understands; that we can be the disciple who produces a harvest even if it is just thirty-fold.