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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (Jer 1:1.4-10): The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, of a priestly family in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. «Ah, Lord God!». I said, «I know not how to speak; I am too young».

But the Lord answered me, «Say not, I am too young. To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord».

Then the Lord extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying, «See, I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant».
Responsorial Psalm: 70
R/. I will sing of your salvation.
In you, o Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me.

Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.

For you are my hope, o Lord; my trust, o God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength.

My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Versicle before the Gospel (---): Alleluia. The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 13:1-9): On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

“A sower went out to sow”

Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB (Mendoza, Argentina)

Today —in Matthew's Gospel— Jesus starts introducing us into the mysteries of the Kingdom, in that particular way that He likes to use by means of parables.

The seeds are the Word proclaimed and the sower is He. He is not trying to sow in the best possible soil to produce an excellent crop. He has come so that “they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). This is why He does not spare his seeds and generously throws handfuls of them onto the ground, whether it is “on the path” (Mt 13:4), or “on rocky ground” (key verse 5), or “among thorns” (key verse 7), or, finally, “on rich soil” (key verse 8).

Thus, the seeds so generously sown produce the expected yield the terrain possibilities allow. The Second Vatican Council tells us: “The Word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; those who hear the Word with faith and become part of the little flock of Christ, have received the Kingdom itself. Then, by its own power the seed sprouts and grows until harvest” (Lumen gentium, 5).

“Those who hear the Word with faith”, says the Council. You are used to hearing it, perhaps to reading it and, maybe, to pondering over it. Depending on the depth of your faith through hearing, such will be the fruits the crop will bear. Though, these fruits, somehow, are guaranteed by the vital power of the Word-seed, our responsibility in the attentive listening to the Word is no less important. This is why “Whoever has ears ought to hear” (Mt 13:9).

Today, ask the Lord the prophet’s yearning: “When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart, Because I bear your name, LORD, God of hosts” (Jer 15:16).

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “The divine sower is also sowing his seed today. He invites us to spread the divine message, by both teaching and example.” (Saint Josemaría)

  • “The Lord scatters the seed of the word of God freely and with abundance. The sower does not lose heart, for he knows that part of this seed is destined to find ‘good soil’, namely, ardent hearts capable of receiving the word with willingness, for the benefit of many.” (Benedict XVI)

  • “The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or good earth for the word? What use has he made of the talents he has received? Jesus and the presence of the kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 546)