Vol: 44, No.39 15TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( A) July 16 2017  
 
LITURGY AND LIFE
The story we have heard in today’s gospel passage is usually known as the Parable of the Sower. But the story doesn’t seem to say very much about the sower, nor about the seed but about the soil. Jesus’ own explanation dwells more on the types of soil than on the sower. Why then, this story is called the Parable of the Sower?
First of all, none of us is made up of just one type of soil. Each of us has four kinds of soil in our hearts. This story is mainly a description of our prodigal God. God knows it is foolish to spread seed on unworthy soil, but he does it anyway. God spreads his love with reckless abandon in hearts that are at once all four different types of soil. He throws seed at the disciples who over and over again prove that they have hard hearts, stiff necks, and dull minds. Jesus continues to throw seed at them, continues to work with them, and continues to help them see what God is up to in the world around them. He scatters the seed of the Gospel with wild prodigality, and even when it is clear that his disciples just don’t get it, when they turn him over to the authorities, abandon him in his hour of need, and deny even knowing him; Jesus continues to pour out his love on them by inviting them back into the fold after the resurrection.
The first reading of today sheds even further light on the action of the divine Sower. What God tells us has a ring of stubborn determination. He is quite earnest in bringing to completion his plan for humans. His Word shall return to him only after serving its purpose, that is, only after the fulfilment of his design on the universe. In spite of apparent failures, mounting oppositions and obstacles, the Word of God will be effective and produce abundant fruits according to his divine
 
design. The parable of the Sower is a story of contrasts.
On the one hand it tells us of the waste and failure of most of the farmer’s hard work, and on the other, it speaks of the abundant harvest despite this waste. Almost till the end of the story all the toil and sweat of the farmer appear to be doomed to failure. Then the conclusion brings a sudden contrast. Some of the seed lands on good soil and yields an abundant harvest. All because, here is a prodigal Sower who will never give up.
This, indeed, is the story of God’s dealings with us humans. God’s Word was at work in the act of creation. But man’s sin attempted to wreck that work. God then responded with another act of love by promising a Saviour who would put things right. Again, through his Word, God formed a people for himself. His Word spoken through the prophets sustained and guided them. And in the fullness of time, he gave his Word-made-man, Jesus, to the world. He too was met with rejection and hostility. And nailed to a cross, the Word of God seemed to have been silenced forever! Apparently everything ended up in dismal failure. But only apparently! Defeating sin and defying death, Jesus rose from the grave.
God will not relent until the abundant harvest is ensured. It is not to deny the power of evil or the reality of failure. Jesus experienced it. The Church experiences it. And we all experience it in our personal lives. In spite of failures, however, Jesus tells us to have confident hope. “Have patience and courage,” he is telling us. “Do your work. Keep on sowing the seed and leave the rest to God. The harvest is certain. When it comes, it will be greater than you can possibly imagine.”
– Dr Augustine Kanachikuzhy, ssp
July 2017 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 3
17 Mon (G) Exod 1:8-14, 22/ Ps 124:1-8/ Mt 10:34–11:1
18 Tue (G) Exod 2:1-15/ Ps 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34/ Mt 11:20-24
19 Wed (W) Exod 3:1-6, 9-12/ Ps 103:1-4, 6-7/ Mt 11:25-27
20 Thu (G) St Apollinarius Exod 3:13-20/ Ps 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-27/ Mt 11:28-30
21 Fri (G) St Lawrence of Brindisi Exod 11:10–12:14/ Ps 116:12-13, 15-18/ Mt 12:1-8
22 Sat (W) St Mary Magdalene Song 3:1-4 (or 2 Cor 5:14-17)/ Ps 63:1-5, 7-8 / Jn 20:1-2, 11-18
 
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