(Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23)

A parable is an earthly saying with a heavenly meaning. Jesus adopts the method of using parables to spread his Good News of the kingdom of Heaven because his audience comprises of the senior, middle and young, including children. And invariably parables appeal to everyone’s understanding, irrespective of age and social statues. Hence, in his parables Jesus uses images of the very things familiar to the people, to communicate his message of eternal life. It is left for the individual listener to pass a judgement on the situation described in the story and then pick the lessons. Therefore, every parable remains a challenge to the listener, confronting one’s life and then leaves one to decide on how to respond.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus narrates the parable of the sower as he aims to teach on our different attitude towards opening our hearts to the Word of God and the work of God. In this parable, as the sower sows, the seeds fell on FOUR DIFFERENT PLACES;

Some fell on the plain ground and immediately the birds of the air picked them up. This implies, the prejudiced hearer who absolutely has a closed mind with little or no interest, such a person is un-teachable.

Others fell on the rocky ground with insufficient soil. Here comes the shallow hearer. Such people fail to think deep. They may initially respond with an emotional admiration, but would not make any further effort to live by what they admire, or act when the situation demands that they put into action what they hear.

Again others fell on the thorns and were choked by the thorns and they died producing no fruit. This is another type of hearer who listens and accept what is said, but has many conflicting interests, cares and worries, and so lacks the ability to place his/her priority right, and to make out what is truly important.

Still others fell on rich soil where they have enough nutrients and they yield so many produce, some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty. These are the hearers whose minds are open, docile and receptive. Such people are at all times willing to listen and to learn. He or she is never too proud or too busy to learn. They listen in order to understand. Such people hear the Word of God and try to live by it. They bear much fruits with their lives by being more truthful & honest, encouraging & supportive, enduring & patient, merciful & forgiving, considerate & accommodating, generous & sacrificing etc. Let him who has ears listen, Jesus concludes.

Dear sisters and brothers, challenged to reflect today on how you are making the effort to see that, you are not just a mere hearer of the Word.