15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – A
The Parable of the Sower
Vatican II states: “To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in the liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, ‘the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered Himself on the cross, but especially under the Eucharistic species… He is present in His word since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the church” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy #7).
When we listen to the parable we proclaim this Sunday, our attention is focused on the Sower who is the main character and yet we also ask where are we in the parable.
Everything around us and everything of the past and of the future are the works of the hands of God. We believe that it was through the Word that God created all these realities not only in the Book of Genesis but in the continuous transformation of creation which according to Teilhard d’ Chardin will reach its peak in the Omega Point. If creation is a continuous process of becoming then God has never stopped uttering His Word until everything finds its full realization in Christ: “The whole creation has been groaning with labour pains together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves… groan as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8: 23).
When God speaks, He creates! When He creates He is like a sower who sows the seeds. The prophet Isaiah reminds us of the power of the creative Word: “As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth making it bring forth and sprout, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return empty…” (Is. 55:11). This is the sower that we see in the parable who speaks, who creates and longs for the fruits of his creation. His creative Word finds expression in nature, in the historical narrative, in the events that shape our world, in the ordinariness of our lives, and in many ways beyond our comprehension. This same Word speaks to us heart to heart in the most intimate way through the Liturgy and most concretely in the proclamation of the scriptures in the celebration of the mass. We as listeners are the four kinds of fields to which He sows the seed of the Word: 1) Indifferent: those who hear the Word phonetically as a sound but have no desire for conversion therefore are not affected because the Word does not sink in and never touch their hearts at all. 2) Superficial: those listen to the Word and immediately receive it with joy and enthusiasm but only skin-deep because it does not take roots so it withers away just so easily. 3) Busybody: those who hear the Word but do not really care because they are more concerned with their success and riches. They come to church on Christmas and Easter, give to charities, send their children to catholic schools but they are just so engrossed making a name for themselves, building up their brilliant careers and professional lives. Some of them go back to church in their old age after realising the emptiness of material gains. 4) Fruitful: those who listen to the Word and are continuously transformed and also transforming others by the fruitfulness of their faith. They are those who help re-create this world by transmuting the Word into concrete acts of charities, shouting the Word in the silence of their good works.
When God sows He speaks to our hearts, He re-creates us and as we are fashioned into the Word that continuously moulds us, we also help in re-creating the world into a better place for our children’s children, a true home now and in the future.