The Good News for the Day, July 16, 2017
Sunday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time (103)
One time, Jesus went outdoors and sat down along the shore of the sea. Such a large public gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down there, while the crowd stood along the shore. He spoke to them for some time, using poetic language: “A farmer went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell along the hard-packed trail; birds came along and ate it. Some of the seed fell on ground strewn with rocks, where it did not have much good earth. The seed came up quickly because the dirt was not very deep, and when the sun came up, the seed was burned—it withered because it had no roots. Some seed fell among weedy brambles, where the other plants grew up and choked the seed. But some seed fell on rich loam and proved fruitful—a hundred, sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Matthew 13 [shortened version])
In Matthew’s Gospel here—Jesus goes on to explain the poem: “the seed is the Word of God.” But it is a POEM—and because it is a poem, it enables more than one insight, more than one way to see meaning.
Let’s say the seed is (also) the “moment”—this moment of time that lands in your life like seed—capable of triggering a reaction. Or you can be “hard-hearted” about it—letting each moment bounce off you as your distracting birds come along. You can be “stone-hearted”—resisting—you note the moment and its possibility, but then reject it—your ideology or prejudice seeing the moment come—it starts to sink in—but you let it die. Or you can be a person all thorny and hostile to anything new—a moment arrives—your anger, revenge and negativity swallows it into uselessness.
Or as a Child of our Father, you can welcome each moment as something precious—a new truth, a sight of beauty, a grasp of suffering, an insight into grief, a pause to appreciate silence, an act of loving attention, a cuddling embrace, a discovery of compassion, a forgiveness—or just relishing that you exist!