July 13, 2008
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13:1-23 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears,
because they hear.”
The parable of the sower is the first of the seven parables placed at the center of Matthew’s gospel. In this parable, the generous sower sows a great amount of seeds in the field. For many reasons, much of the seeds did not bear a good harvest. But the seeds that fell on rich and good soil produce an extraordinary harvest.
The disciples then ask Jesus why he speaks in parables. Jesus simply replies, “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.” Many of us, even though we hear the words of God and his teachings, refuse to recognize the voice of divine wisdom calling us to conversion and to healing of our hearts.
Our gospel for today is a reminder for us that the seeds of God’s love and His kingdom have been abundantly and generously sown or planted everywhere. Despite the violence around us, the spiralling increase of the price of oil, ecological crisis around the world, and our own experience of despair, pain and loneliness, we can live in hope because the seeds are already planted or given to us. We have in our hearts the seeds of faith, hope and love. Henry David Thoreau said, “Convince me that you have the seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”
This coming week, Pope Benedict XVI will be here in Sydney for the 23rd World Youth Day. The Pope believes that the youth has the potential and power to change the world. They are potential good soil, just waiting for the good seeds. This week, the Pope Benedict will definitely plant the seeds by challenging the youth to go beyond themselves and be persons for others - to do something for the world and to their own respective country. Sufferings, poverty, war, ecological problem, and hopelessness are universal experience but also hope, faith, and love.
At a certain stage, we do need to convince our youth that the seed is already there… that they have the potential to love and go beyond themselves. But part of convincing them is to trust them, let them be, and allow them to be more responsible persons. Let them be themselves after giving them the right Christian values to uphold. Then we will see wonders and miracles in our lives.
The call of our gospel for today is to be like the generous sower. He did not hesitate to throw the precious seeds to the field. He knows well that some seeds will surely go to the rocks and be wasted but he knows also that some seeds will surely fall to the good grounds and bear much fruit. That’s part of the whole planting process. As parents, teachers, and leaders, we are called not to hesitate to throw generous amount of hope, faith and love to our youth – to trust them and let them be more responsible, let them be bearers of hope and keepers of faith. Let’s allow them to grow in Christian maturity. We may experience small failures in the process, but we will surely gain more than what we have given. The secret is to trust them and let them be themselves.
Saint Ignatius gave us a beautiful advice in his Prayer for Generosity: “Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous” … like the sower.