Gospel Reading – Matthew 13: 1-9
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 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 seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they 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 grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’
The Gospel of the Lord
The Mass intention is for
Jesus’ explanation of the different outcomes for the seeds sown, follows in our Gospel passage for the day after tomorrow. But, in between, there is added in the Gospel of Matthew a full reflection from Jesus on why it is only the committed disciples who are receptive enough to take in that explanation. For, what is required is not just any kind of understanding; but understanding-of-the-heart: there needs to be an initial opening of heart, to make space for Jesus’ message.
Jesus even quotes a prophet to describe minds that are closed: “This people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed” – little chance, then, of effective healing – “lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them”. To the disciples, on the other hand, “it has been given [by God] to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”. These are fortunate – because “many longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it”.
- ‘Let anyone with ears listen’. This means me! When I come to pray, do I have the soil of an open heart toward Jesus and his teachings?
- Am I willing to allow his Word to break into my closed heart?