Reflection for 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time
First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
Second Reading: Romans 8:18-23
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23
What happens when we hear the same Scripture over and over again? Today, we hear the familiar parable of the sower. The Holy Spirit will guide us to look for the meaning that this Scripture has for us today – which may be different than the meaning from the last time we heard the parable. We are constantly changing. We have a whole new set of life’s experiences. We are not the same person, as when we hear the parable previously. The Holy Spirit reveals new insights to us, each time.
The parable of the sower is a mirror parable. Jesus tells the parable, so it’s designed for us to look at ourselves. In this case, not only does Jesus tells the parable, but He explains the meaning in detail.
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 thirty-fold. In other words, when we cooperate with the grace of God in our lives, the seed (God’s word) takes root and bears fruit. Just how do we keep the soil of our hearts rich, fertile and pliable?
Spiritual complacency, neglect of our spiritual life and sin are some of which that will prevent our hearts from being fertile soil. In growing up, I often watched by father care for our vegetable garden. I noticed that vegetables grew the best in new rich and dark soil. After a few years, the soil would seem to be “worn out”, and in need of renewal. So it is in our spiritual life. There’s no question that the
last three plus months dealing with the COVID19 pandemic have worn us down a bit. We need to replenish our spiritual nutrients. Jesus Christ gives us the sacraments to keep the soil of our hearts rich and fertile. Sin hardens the soil of our hearts. Confession loosens it – removing all the thorns, rocks and hard ground. Each time we confess our sins, we allow Jesus to create rich and fertile ground in our hearts.
May Mary, the Mother of the Word of God, Jesus Christ guide our thoughts, words and actions by her spirit, which is the Holy Spirit, to always lead us closer to Jesus!