Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Jeremiah 3:14-17; Matthew 13:18-23)
Jesus’ parable speaks of seed being scattered throughout a field. There is no part of the field that does not receive some. The parable indicates how the gospel carrying the story of the sacrifice of the Son of God for the world is spread throughout the world. All kinds of people hear it and respond to it according to their own disposition. The parable describes four dispositions as conditions of the earth: the roadside, the shallow earth, the thorny earth, and the fertile earth. It is worth reflecting on each of these conditions carefully in what I would like to say today.
Some people are like seed on the roadside. They do not want to leave the street. They think of life as a great competition to get the most pleasure possible. Other people are like rocky ground. They hear the word of God and are attracted to its promise of eternal life. But they do not have the will to follow Christ in order to attain it. A third kind of people are like seed sown among thorns. They also respond favorably to the story of Jesus in the beginning. They want to follow him, but they also want to follow things that take them in another direction. The "good land" describes people who love others as well as God. Like Jesus himself they want to sow seeds of peace and love among the people.
Instead of thinking of ourselves as a type of land, it is better to consider ourselves as a field. Our field has all four types of land mentioned in the parable. We are partly road, partly rocky soil, partly land with thorns, and partly good land. Our task in life is to till the field so that all our land yields produce. We have to cover the road with dirt to avoid the crudeness that spoils the soul. We have to also add soil to the rocks by keeping our promises to God and to others. And we have to pluck the thorns of frivolous pursuits from our lives. Doing all this, we will be supporting our companions, giving glory to God, and preserving the hope of eternal life for ourselves.