Sunday’s Focus Scripture:  Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

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!

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you have any experience with gardening or agriculture? If so, how do these experiences influence your understanding of this parable?
  2. If we are to generously and relentlessly throw seed around, how do we do that? What does such sowing look like in the places where you are serving God?
  3. Jesus talks explicitly about the role of the “evil one” in preventing the growth of God’s Word. What do you make of that description? How do you understand the “evil one” that Jesus names?
  4. Do you agree that the soil isn’t our problem? Do we have an obligation to try to cultivate or be good soil?
  5. As you go about your daily routines this week, notice all of the things that grow without having been carefully planted: wild flowers, trees, fields of grass. As you see that growth, try to make note of where you unexpectedly see God’s reign in your midst. Make a list and give God thanks.
  6. Are we stingy when it comes to sharing the Word of God? What keeps us from sowing with abandon?

Weekly Prayer:  Loving God, you created life in us and all around us.  Open us to receive your gifts of your world and your word that we may be not just hearers of the word, but doers also.  Amen.