The Parable of the Sower
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 12, 2020 - 12:00am

Today is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary ECQ Time and the gospel story is about The Parable of the Sower that you can read in Matt.13: 1-9.

“13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

* * *

It has been written that one-third of the recorded teachings of our Lord Jesus in the New Testament can be found in around 50 of his parables. As we have been told, a parable is a narrative drawn from human circumstances for people to better understand the teaching of our Lord using human examples but to teach his spiritual lesson. Parables occur 12 times in the 13th chapter in Matthew’s gospel.

As we learned in today’s first part of this gospel reading, it happens beside the Sea of Galilee where our Lord climbed aboard a boat while his audience stood on the seashore. It was a scenario involving a male peasant farmer. This scenario was familiar to the gospel’s largely-rural audience who knew very well the ways of its agriculturally-based society. The sower sows seeds which fall into four different types of ground with quite different consequences, the results of which we will continue to discuss.

 

In verse 4, seed that falls on a path is eaten by birds. In verses 5-6, seed that falls among rocks sprouts quickly but, lacking depth of soil, dries up in the sun. In verse 7, seed that falls among the thorns is choked by them. But in verse 8, seed that falls into good soil produces an abundant crop.

In verse 4, the seeds of God’s word are heard by its listeners but since it doesn’t take root in the minds of the listeners, it was easy for the birds to eat them off the ground and the listener goes his way as if he hasn’t heard the Word of God. The same thing happens to the seeds that falls on rocky ground which cannot sink into the fertile ground and dies quickly. In verse 7, the seeds fall into the fertile ground, however it grows among the thorns and are choked by them and dies.

However in verse 8, the Word of God the seeds fall into good soil and bears good and abundant fruit. This means that the Word of God is heard by the many people who hear it and they walk around telling their friends and families what God wants us to do; to evangelize the Word of God. Remember during the Ascension of our Lord into heaven? His last words to his disciples as we read in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”. Some call it his last will and testament.

This parable ends with an appeal by our Lord, “let anyone with ears, listen.” To have ears is an image that points beyond literal hearing to discerning the significance of Jesus’ words. Jesus, though, offers no help to his audience to understand the significance of the scene he has presented. While our Lord uses this story as “the parable of the sower,” the explanation does not really focus on the sower; however it does not even identify the sower explicitly. But to the man of faith, he knows that our Lord was talking about the Word of God. Making it sound like a seed to plant so it can grow and bear abundant fruit.

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