REFLECTION FOR TODAY
July 21, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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… Matt.13:1-3
Jesus like to teach in parables as our gospel reference today tells us. His parables used everyday thing to cause people to think deeply about God’s work in the world. The advantage of parables was that they were able to make divine truths more comprehensible even to those who were not schooled. As a general rule, parables talk about the new kingdom initiated by Jesus’ life death and resurrection. Parables often have more than one meaning. They open the minds to many possibilities rather than limit us to one interpretation.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus goes on to teach the familiar “Parable of the Sower.” Immediately after this parable, the disciples asked Jesus this question. They ask, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus responds to them, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.” So why is that?
In explaining the parable of the sower, Jesus said, the seed sown by the sower falls either on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, or on rich soil. This is a very visible description that will lead people to conclusions right away. Everyone knows that the ideal place for seed to be sown is rich soil. And everyone knows that the seed sown on the path, rocky ground and among thorns has little hope of producing fruit. Therefore, this parable easily draws the listener in so as to understand some basic lessons of the resulting harvest from the different soil types.
The parable of the sower tells us that we can take hold of the abundant blessing from God because of the cross of Jesus and his resurrection. This is not an empty promise, but a blessing to embrace. It is not a cheap blessing either. We need to overcome the temptations of the world if we are to take hold of the blessings Jesus has in store for us
The parable of the sower, as well as all of Jesus’ parables, has the effect of causing the listener to think. Thinking leads to what we may term a holy curiosity. And this holy curiosity will begin to produce the rich soil that was needed within them so as to open the door to the deeper mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.
How does Jesus speak to you? Are you able to listen to Jesus speak directly to you, in prayer, so as to reveal to you the deepest mysteries of Heaven? When God speaks to you, in prayer and meditation, does the seed of His Word take root in your very soul? Does His gentle, quiet, but transforming Voice communicate to you Who He is and what His will is for your life? If not, then parables are for you. And knowing that is an important discovery.
Reflect, today, upon the desire of God to speak to you. If you do struggle with hearing the clear and profound Voice of God resonate within your soul, then do not be afraid to spend time with the many parables that Jesus told. Try to place yourself within the scene. See yourself as a participant. In today’s parable, see your inner self as the field. Think about those things in your life that keep your soul from being rich soil. Allow this story of Jesus to speak to you. As you do, be attentive to God’s Voice. Listen for Him and listen to Him. And as you do hear Him, know that the seed He has scattered has begun to reach that rich soil of your heart.
Lord, You desire to speak to me and to reveal to me all that You are. Help me to hear Your Voice so that I will come to know You more. Make my heart truly fertile soil in which the seed of Your Word is sown, so that You can produce within me an abundance of good fruit. Jesus, I trust in You.