July 9, 2011
15th Sunday - A
What kind of soil am I?
Last Sunday, we listened to Jesus giving praise to the Father for revealing Himself to the little ones, and not the wise and learned. That passage comes at the end of chapter 11 in Matthew.
Chapter 12 finds the Pharisees debating with Jesus over his teaching. These wise and learned people have a hard time accepting Jesus' words because they accuse him of breaking their understanding of the Sabbath law. They even try to discredit Jesus and the divine power in him by saying that he uses the power of Beelzebul to drive out demons. Consequently, they fail to recognize the presence of the Reign of God in their midst.
Matthew now continues his account of Jesus in Chapter 13 with Jesus returning to teaching "the crowd."
In this context, it is rather obvious that the emphasis of today's parable is the reception of the seed of God's word. Any hearer can be a path, some rocky ground, a thorny patch of land, or rich soil.
The farmer sows the seed of God's word generously and without discrimination. A farmer who is wise and experienced, by human standard, would never just through the seed around everywhere. But that is not how God sows the seed of His word.
It is up to the soil to hear, understand, and bear fruit.
And it is the little ones trusting in God who overcome tribulation and persecution. It is the little ones, without worldly anxiety and the lures of riches, who yield the greatest harvest.