Gospel Reflection for July 16, 2017, 15th Sunday Ordinary Time

12 Jul

Photo via Flickr user Jimmy – S

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 55.10-11; Romans 8.18-23; Matthew 13.1-23

“Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” – Matthew 13.8

The sower parable offers a prophetic vision beyond Jesus’ death and resurrection to the thirty, sixty, and hundredfold harvest his disciples later bring in. Within the gospel narrative Jesus’ teaching falls on paths, rocks, and thorns where the seeds fail to flourish. The disciples who flee when Jesus is arrested are like the seeds on the path that the birds eat; they vanish. Peter, whose name means rock, is like the rocky ground where the seed grows up quickly but gets scorched for lack of soil in which to root. Peter enthusiastically affirms Jesus as messiah but protests Jesus will suffer and denies even knowing Jesus during his trial. The rich young man of Matthew 19.16-23 is like the seed sown among thorns. The lure of wealth spoils his yield.

After the disciples experience Jesus’ risen presence, the words Jesus taught do take root and the Spirit sets the disciples afire preaching the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. The parable of the sower promises that despite too-traveled, rocky, and weedy ground, the seed Jesus sows will yield. The parable sows a prophetic promise. The harvest continues in every generation among us who hear who hear Jesus’ word and keep it.

What has hearing the gospel yielded in your life?

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