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15th Sunday 2023

The sower in the parable is a picture of  God who is generous in his love and mercy. Someone might even say that He is like a wasteful farmer who throws seed on the road, on stony ground and between thorns. God is wasteful in his love. He generously shares his mercy because he wants every person to have life. The greatest sign of God’s generosity is that he sent his Son into the world. Jesus – the Incarnate Word – is God’s seed that is sown in every soil, that is, in the heart of every human being.                                                                                                           The four types of ground are a picture of man’s different attitudes towards God. Faith is born out of hearing and accepting the word of God. For faith to grow, the word of God needs the right soil to grow.   The road is a picture of a man who listens to the word but does not understand it.  Most of the world’s humanity has heard of the existence of Jesus. However, just hearing that someone like Jesus existed is not enough to  believe.

Without personally accepting Jesus as Saviour and understanding His message, man remains indifferent to His message. The Word of God needs conscious acceptance and understanding. Rocky soil is a picture of a man who accepts Jesus with delight and enthusiasm. He begins to live his faith, but there is no constancy. This can apply to many life situations. When the excitement of the first awe of God subsides, he returns to his old lifestyle. Someone makes a resolution, a commitment, but is unable to keep it, becomes discouraged and gives up. Faith – like everything we want  to bring value to our lives – requires constancy and perseverance. Especially when difficulties and adversity arise.

Thorny soil is a picture of a believer, even one sincerely committed to a relationship with God. It is someone who wants to grow in faith, tries to and does not consider themselves merely an occasional believer. However, he is unable to defend his faith among his friends, perhaps even his family.     It could also be the environment he is in that distances him from God. He has less and less time to pray, to come to Mass. He becomes increasingly lukewarm until he finally realises he doesn’t believe.                                                                                                                            Faith, to be alive, needs us to make daily choices. We cannot have it all at once. It is a choice between gospel values and the spirit of this world.  Fertile soil is a picture of a man who seeks to understand and know who Jesus is. He is someone who is faithful in his daily life to the values of the Gospel.  It is someone who tries to be persistent on the path of faith, even despite adversity and difficulties.  This is a man who is aware and convinced of the value of being a believer. Such a person is able to bear the abundant fruits of faith. Such fruits are: joy, peace, patience, understanding, kindness and fidelity.