Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23
The Gospel reading today has the Parable of the Sower, where a sower goes out and sows the seed, which falls all over the place! Some on the path, some on the rocky ground, some among thorns and some on the fertile soil. Jesus explains the meaning of the parable to his disciples and makes them realise the parallel between the seed and the Word of God and how each individual responds differently. The basis of all this is the ability to ‘listen’. We are called to listen to the Word of God and act upon it.
Listening is important. God’s Word comes to us in various forms and we need to open our hearts to listen. Listening involves action. We cannot just listen and do nothing. That is why, when the seed – Word of God – is sown into our hearts, each one reacts differently. Each one’s response is shaped by his/her ability to listen and act. Not everyone is able to do exactly as everyone else! Therefore, Jesus insists us to listen, ‘for the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you.’ We need the ability to listen and it is a conscious decision. We choose to listen what we want to listen, but there are few things which we need to listen: listening to the mysteries of the kingdom, that are revealed to us, is something we need to do, if we want to be faithful in our calling as the followers of Christ.
Let us, therefore, prepare the soil of our heart today and make it fertile. Let us move the rocks and pick out the thorns. Let us chase the birds of distractions and evil thoughts and focus on listening deeply. And then, when the seed is sown, we will be able to produce a harvest according to our capacity, a hundredfold, a sixty or a thirty. Again, that is the beauty of the freedom God has given us, we are expected to bear fruit according to our ability and do not push hard to be hundredfold at the first attempt. We are accepted as we are. It does not mean that we should not try; surely, we should try to be excellent; but slowly and gently.
What is important is the ability to listen. When we listen, we absorb, when we absorb, we understand, when we understand, we act and when we act we bear fruit; fruit that brings difference in my life as well as in the life of others. Let us then pray today for the grace to listen. Through listening let us become the followers Jesus wants us to be; gentle, caring and looking after each other and help each other bear fruit, according to each ones ability. Amen.