Jul 12 2020 Reflection
Sunday 12 July 2020
First Reading: IS 55:10-11
The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
PS 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
Second Reading: ROM 8:18-23
Gospel Reading: MT 13:1-9
Today’s Note: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
You shall indeed hear but not understand. (Matthew 13:14)
Any parent can tell you what it’s like to be heard but not understood: “In one ear and out the other” or “It’s like talking to a brick wall.” This is how it feels when they can’t seem to connect with their children.
Jesus had a similar experience. Despite all his time teaching and performing miracles in Galilee, he had little to show for it. Of course, disciples like Peter and Mary Magdalene and the others had left everything to follow him. They were trying to listen closely and put his teachings into practice. But what about the “large crowds” that he always attracted (Matthew 13:2)? They had seen the same miracles, but many of them didn’t see his compassion as something worth imitating. They had heard him talk about his Father’s mercy, but many didn’t seem to hear his words about loving their enemies.
Jesus’ words make it clear that discipleship involves both receiving his miracles and following his teachings. It involves the excitement of experiencing his power and love, and it involves choosing to love him back by trying to become more like him. It involves making sure that our hearts are like the good soil in today’s parable—listening intently and prayerfully to his words so that they can change our hearts.
Try to do just that today. Either before or after Mass, carve out fifteen minutes and focus on hearing Jesus speak to you. Find a quiet spot, choose one of the readings from today’s Mass, and read it. Really read it. Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you and help you understand what God is saying. When a word or phrase leaps out at you, let it sink into your heart like seed in good soil. Ask Jesus what he wants you to do about it. Then do it. Let his word bear fruit in your life.
“Thank you, Jesus, for sowing your word into my heart. Help me to nurture it so that I can become more like you.”