Summary: Now a days, we grow up in the post-truth world listening to the manufactured lies, reading the systematic propaganda of fake news, and proclaiming the same with the help of high profile people in society to achieve their own purpose.
The Sower, the Seed, and the Soil (Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
The Sower, the Seed and the Soil
Dear sisters and brothers,
Now a days, we grow up in the post-truth world listening to the manufactured lies, reading the systematic propaganda of fake news, and proclaiming the same with the help of high profile people in society to achieve their own purpose.
In this context, Jesus gives us the parable of the Sower.
First of all, let us read the text from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 13:1-9):
That same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
Such great crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat there,
while the whole crowd stood on the beach.
And he told them many things in parables, saying:
“Listen! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate them up.
Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil,
and sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.
But when the sun rose, they were scorched;
and since they had no root, they withered away.
Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grains,
some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty.
Let anyone with ears listen.”
The passage begins with:
“That same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea” (Matthew 13:1).
There are three important points to be noted here.
1. That same day,
2. Went out of the house, &
3. Beside the sea.
Let us reflect on the first one.
1. That same day:
Why did Matthew start the passage with ‘that same day’?
The previous passage ends with the saying of Jesus (Matthew 12:49-50):
That same day, Jesus said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:49-50).
Did Jesus meet His mother and brothers after His preaching?
No. Jesus did not meet them.
There is no passage that mentions that Jesus met them after his preaching in the house.
What did Jesus do then?
Jesus went out of the house without meeting His mother and brothers.
2. Went out of the house:
Secondly, “Jesus went out of the house” with the same feeling that all those who belong to God is His mother, sister and brother or all those who do the will of His Father (Matthew 12:49-50) are in His heart and mind.
He focused only on the family of God.
In other words, we can say that He focused on ‘the Kingdom of God’.
3. Sat beside the sea:
Then, the passage reads: “sat beside the sea” (Matthew 13:1).
Matthew beautifully stated: ‘Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea’.
In my own words, I would say that Jesus went from a confined house to the vastness of the sea.
What was symbolically conveyed here?
Jesus, moving from the house to the sea, symbolically conveyed that we need to move from our small petty things like family, self-goals and so on, to the vastness of the Kingdom of Love.
We need to move from family to community.
We need to move from personal goal to God’s purpose.
We need to move from profession to vocation.
We need to move from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.
We need to move from flesh to the Spirit.
This is what it means, moving from the house to the sea, in my opinion.
The passage further reads:
“Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach” (Matthew 13:2).
Why did such great crowds gather around him?
Who were they?
First and foremost, we have to understand the meaning of ‘crowds’.
‘Crowd’ is a noun. It is in singular form too. It means ‘a large group of people’.
‘Crowds’ is the plural form of ‘crowd’. It refers to ‘large groups of people’.
It means that there were different groups and not just a single group around Jesus.
Here, ‘Crowds’ was deliberately used by the writer of the Gospel to show that it is not a group or a singular group but there were “groups”.
It implies that there were different ‘types of people’, gathered around Jesus.
‘Types of people’ could represent:
There could be a group that might have understood the Kingdom of Love.
There could be a group that might not have understood the Kingdom of Love.
There could be a group that might have longed to hear the Word.