Gospel / Matthew 13:1-23
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them.
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Many of us like to think that we’re the “good seed” and all of those “other folks” are the “bad seed”. The funny thing is that there isn’t any “bad” seed; nor is their “good” seed. Seed on its own is seed. It can either be planted or left in the seed bags. It can then be watered or left to whither. It can be protected and pruned or it can be left to be choked and/or burned. At the end of the day, seed has no choice in how it is used and cared for. But, we have choice on whether or not to love the seed. To plant or not; to water or not; to protect or not; to love or not. Jesus tells us this week, “To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich.” It is not for us to choose anything more than to love on others and plant and nurture God’s seeds. We must trust that He’ll bring the rain. There once were two farmers who both desperately needed the rain for their fields. Both prayed for the rain, but only one went out into his fields and planted his seed. Which do you think trusted in God more? God will bring the rain in our fields; we are to trust that He will and plant the seeds even when things might seem helpless.