Is 55:10-11; Rom 8:18-23; Matt 13:1-23
We have a saying that goes this way: “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.” That even if we don’t know this particular existing law, this does not exempt us from not following the law because we can inquire and look for information regarding this matter. Just like in our gospel today which is about the parable of the sower. This parable and other parables of Jesus are being told and retold so that His teaching will remain forever in our minds and in our hearts. So, we have no reason to say ‘No’ to Him.
Jesus was really a great preacher and teacher because He spoke in the language of the people so that the people would understand Him. He used stories, made comparisons, and used examples, all from the everyday life of the people He was speaking to.
The seed is the word of God and it falls on different grounds. The sower is God Himself. Some grounds are good. Some is too thorny and too rocky and some fell on the footpath. These grounds, as one priest said in his homily in this gospel, represent four types of members in the church or they represent four kinds of hearts.
First is on the footpath. That the word of God, the Church and the sacraments are outdated, old-fashioned, irrelevant, unnecessary, unimportant and have nothing to do with their lives. That is why, some would prefer to stay in their homes, watch television or go to movie houses and watch movies or go to malls cockpit arena. They want to worship the Kristo of cockfighting rather than Kristo the King. It may refer also to those people who may be caught up with deceit. They do not entertain thoughts and ideas that are opposed to their own. We call them as Catolico-serado (closed-minded Catholics).
Second is on the rocky ground. These are the people who start enthusiastically attending charismatic seminars, Samaria Cursillo and others but when suffering and difficulties come in their lives, they often depart and give in. They surrender what they have even their own faith in God. There is no real commitment. We call them as ningas-cogon.
Third is on the thorny ground. This is the type of person who is so busy and so preoccupied with material accumulation to the extent that prayers and loving or serving others are forgotten. Going to Mass on Sundays is for them a routine and just an obligation, not because they want to thank God. It does not mean that we are against material possessions but rather we warned that a total human development and progress includes the spiritual aspect. So, we can call them as kubang-tao (hunchback) because they always bend themselves to look for material well-being and they rarely look at the sky in order to thank God who is the real owner of the things that they have.
Finally is on the good ground. It symbolizes those persons when heard the word of God and respond to by applying it to them and bear fruits of good deeds.
Jesus said that some are fell on rocky ground… and it withered for lack of roots. Roots are invisible, unrecognized and forgotten. How often do we say: “How delicious the mangoes of this tree are.” But how many of us say: “This mango tree or this plant or this flower must have a good root”?
Roots themselves are quite ugly. They are dirty, long, thin, twisted. But paradoxically, they reproduce beauty above the ground. Roots are the strength and life of trees, plants and flowers.
What lessons we can learn from roots? There are three:
The first one is, we are always concerned about our appearances, how others see us or with the visible reality. We try various ways to make ourselves better looking. But like trees, flowers and plants, our real value and dignity come from roots and that is we are all children of God.
The second is self-denial. We do not do what pleases us but we do what pleases God. Like roots, self-denial is ugly and hard. But like roots, it produces external self-control and selflessness that people admire.
Finally, the root that gives us strength is the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. These knowledge and love of Christ are seen in our words and actions.
So my dear friends let us reflect on our personal life base on this gospel. To end this sharing of mine, I have some questions for us to ponder: To which ground do you belong? Are we like the three types of grounds by which the seed which is the word of God has no chance to ground and influence in us? Do we admire our roots?