Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The parable of the sower 

“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. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. 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 13,18-23

This parable, on whose explanation given by Jesus we meditate today, should be included in the pre-marriage courses held in parishes, because it draws a real educational program both for parents and for children. The sower is the Lord who, when due, sows his word in the hearts of the children.

The parents’ duty is a prerequisite: they must operate as the good farmer, who is preparing the ground by plowing and fertilizing. Similarly, parents must prepare the hearts of the children to receive the Lord’s word. The first risk you run with God’s word – the Lord says – is not to understand it, for lacking the habit of listening. It is the seed fallen on the road. The parents’ duty, then, is making the children used to meditating on the Sacred Scripture, because they harmonize with God’s thought at an early age so, when the Lord speaks to their heart, they will recognize him as a familiar voice. The second risk is that God’s word falls in a heart full of stones, where it does not deepen its roots, because there is a few good earth. The parents’ duty, then, is to remove the stones, starting with the too numerous activities they perform during their days. None of them is negative by itself, but when they are too many, they end up being lived superficially and promote that inconstancy and lack of perseverance, which – Jesus is saying today – are the flaws symbolized by the rocky terrain. The third risk is a heart full of thorns that Jesus identifies with the concerns of the world and the deception of wealth. A worried heart is not free to accept anything or anyone, including God’s word. Not to mention the deception of wealth, on whose pursue one finds no time for anything else. Away from these risks, God’s word will always produce fruit, whether much or a few “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold“. Our experience as parents teaches us that the times for ripeness are also different, and not always the hundredfold yield is the one of the wheat that sprouts first.

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