Fr. Mike’s homily for Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I (1)

Parable of the sower

Parable of the sower

Fr. Mike’s homily for Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: Parable of the sower

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Wednesday July 21 2021

Mt 13:1-9

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, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Today the Gospel gives us the Parable of the Sower. It points out several important truths. First, God is the Sower. He is the source of everything in heaven and on earth. He never ceases dispensing abundant and varied blessings to all people. The initiative always comes from Him. We only respond to His initiative.

Second, the seed sown is the Word of God. The greatest blessing He bestows upon mankind is His Word. He gives it not only to a particular group of people; He gives it to all people because He wants everybody to be saved. This is symbolized by the image of the sower liberally scattering the seeds in all directions. Moreover, this Word is not just something spoken or written. It is God Himself: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God” (Jn 1:1). So, that means He is giving Himself to all people of all times and ages. Rejecting His Word is tantamount to rejecting God.

Third, the different kinds of soil on which the seeds fell are the different kinds of people receiving the Word of God. Although everyone is given the Word of God, not all will bear abundant fruits. There are people who reject it outright, symbolized by the footpath. Some receive it with enthusiasm, but soon abandon it when faced with trials and challenges in life. This is the rocky ground. Still others receive it with joy and openness, but their worldly concerns and selfish desires choke the Word, stifling its growth. They are the thorny ground. And finally, the rich and fertile soil represents the people who received the Word, attentively listen to it, and practice it in their daily life, and finally bearing abundant fruits that last unto eternal life.

The harvest is not only three- or four-fold, but from thirty- to a hundred-fold. This is quite unbelievable and impossible. But that is if we are talking only of nature and human power. But if we are talking of God’s power, this is not impossible. This unbelievably abundant harvest illustrates that the work of spreading the Word is done by God. He uses human instruments, but it is still His work. And He has all the power to make His work bear unlimited abundant fruits.

Basically, then, the message of this parable is that God’s Word is always effective and fruitful, notwithstanding the obstacles and setbacks. Through the Prophet Isaiah, God declares, “Yet just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth… so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it” (Is 55:10-11).

This parable, then, provides encouragement to those who are tasked to proclaim the Gospel, especially when sometimes they see how their efforts seem futile and fruitless. They must not give in to discouragement, for God’s Word will always prevail. There will always be fertile soil that will receive it and bear fruits sixty-fold and a hundred-fold – beyond anyone’s expectation and imagination.

At the end of the Gospel today, Jesus gives an exhortation: “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Let us open our hearts to the Word of God and share it with others. Then we become God’s fruitful instruments for the salvation of mankind.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches