Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Growing up listening to the Word

And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow … 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 …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 … “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time …The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”  Mt 13,3-23

This is one of the passages of the gospel which the church offers us several times during the liturgical year, because it contains teachings which we particularly need. The parable
of the sower, in the explanation which is given by Jesus, indicates the more dangerous attitudes in listening to his word: lack of understanding, the inconstancy, the concerns
of the world and the deceitfulness of the riches. We must, therefore, ponder on that listening which, instead, is a good one and makes fruitful the received Word. It would be necessary, first of all, to prepare the mind emptied of all those bulky contents which prevent to accept this concept. “If a vessel is already full of earth, we cannot put in the rice” teaches an Indian saying. Therefore, let’s liberate from our thoughts, perhaps even legitimate, as the plans for the future or the commitments related to the daily life: these would leave space only for a superficial listening, producing little lasting effects. Let’s get rid also of those attitudes which now the media offer us massively, but preventing the word of God to take root: to flutter from one reality to another in search of new pleasures, which are revealed always ephemeral. It is the inconsistency, which initially appears as mutability of tastes, which becomes infidelity in the more serious commitments. Finally, we must learn to deal, but not to worry, for our life. The social and professional relationships, in fact, seek to bind us more and more, casting a spell with attractive economic prospects, but choking our willingness to accept the Word. Make us, Lord, able to listen to your word and to produce good and abundant fruits.

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