Wednesday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
be merciful to your people.
Fill us with your gifts
and make us always eager to serve you
in faith, hope and love.
You live and reign with the Father and the
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading – Matthew 13,1-9
That same day,
Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered
round him that he got into the boat and sat there. The people all stood on the
shore and he told them many things in parables.
‘Listen, a sower went out to sow.
As he sowed,
some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at
once, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they
were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among
thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and
produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Anyone who
has ears should listen!’
• In chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew
the third great discourse begins, the Discourse of the Parables. As we already
said before, in the commentary on the Gospel of July 9th, Matthew organized his
Gospel like a new edition of the Law of God or like a new “Pentateuch” with its
five books. For this reason his Gospel is composed of five great discourses or
teachings of Jesus, followed by narrative parts, in which he describes how
Jesus put into practice what he had taught in the discourses. The following is
Introduction: birth and preparation of the Messiah (Mt 1 to 4)
a) Sermon on the Mountain: the entrance
door to the Kingdom (Mt 5 to 7)
Narrative Mt 8 and 9
b) Discourse of the Mission: how to
announce and diffuse the Kingdom (Mt 10)
Narrative Mt 11 and 12
c) Discourse of the Parables: the mystery
of the Kingdom present in life (Mt 13)
Narrative Mt 14 to 17
d) Discourse of the Community: the new way
of living together in the Kingdom (Mt 18)
Narrative 19 to 23
e) Discourse of the future coming of the Kingdom:
the utopia which sustains hope (Mt 24 and 25)
Death and Resurrection (Mt 26 to 28).
• In today’s Gospel we will meditate on the
parable of the seed. Jesus had a way of speaking so popular by means of
comparisons and parables. Generally, when he finished telling a parable, he did
not explain it, but used to say: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mt
11,15; 13,9.43). Sometimes he would explain the meaning to the Disciples (Mt
13,36). The parables speak of the things of life; seed, lamp, mustard seed,
salt, etc. These are things that exist in daily life, for the people of that
time as well as today for us. Thus, the experience that we have today of these
things becomes for us a means to discover the presence of the mystery of God in
our life. To speak in parables means to reveal the mystery of the Kingdom
present in life.
• Matthew 13,1-3: Sitting in the boat,
Jesus taught the people. As it happened in the Sermon on the Mountain (Mt
5,1-2), here also Matthew makes a brief introduction to the discourse of the
Parables, describing Jesus who teaches in the boat, on the shore, and many
people around him who listen. Jesus was not a person who was instructed (Jn
7,15). He had not been to a higher school in Jerusalem. He came from inside the
country, from Nazareth. He was unknown, a farmer and craftsman or artisan at the
same time. Without asking permission from the religious authority, he began to
teach the people. People liked to listen to him. Jesus taught especially by means
of parables. We have already heard some of them: fishermen of men (Mt 4,19), the
salt (Mt 5,13), the lamp (Mt 5,15), the birds of the sky and the lilies of the
field (Mt 6,26.28), the house constructed on the rock (Mt 7,24). And now, in
chapter 13, the parables begin to have a particular meaning: they serve to
reveal the mystery of the Kingdom of God present in the midst of people and the
activity of Jesus.
• Matthew 13,4-8: The parable of the
seed taken from the life of the farmer. At that time, it was not easy to
live from farming. The land was full of stones. There was little rain, too much
sun. Besides, many times, people in order to shorten the way, passed through
the fields and destroyed the plants (Mt 12,1). But in spite of all that, every
year, the farmer would sow and plant, with trust in the force of the seed, in
the generosity of nature. The parable of the sower describes that which we all
know and do: the seed thrown by the agriculturer falls on the ground along the
road, another part falls among the stones and thistles; still another part
falls on good earth, where, according to the quality of the land, will produce
thirty, sixty and even up to one hundred. A parable is a comparison. It uses
things known by the people and which are visible, to explain that the Kingdom
of God is an invisible and unknown thing. The people of Galilee understood
about seeds, ground, rain, sun and harvest. And so now Jesus uses exactly these
things that were known to people to explain the mystery of the Kingdom.
• Matthew 13,9: He, who has ears to
hear, let him listen. The expression “He, who has ears, let him listen” means: “It is this! You have heard. Now try to understand!” The way to be able
to understand the parable is to search: “To try to understand!” The parable does
not give everything immediately, but pushes one to think and to make one
discover starting from the experience which the auditors have of the seed. It
opens to creativity and to participation. It is not a doctrine which comes
ready to be taught. The parable does not give water in bottles, but the source.
The agriculturer who listens to the parable says: “Seed in the round, I know
what that means! But Jesus says that it has something to do with the Kingdom of
God. What would that be?” And it is easy to imagine the long conversations of
the people! The parable leads to listen to nature and to think of life. Once a
person asked in a community: “Jesus says that we have to be salt. For what is
salt good?” There was discussion and then at the end, ten different purposes
that salt can have, were discovered. Then all this was applied to the life of
the community and it was discovered that to be salt is difficult and demanding.
The parable worked well!
4) Personal questions
• When you were a child how was catechism taught to you?
How do you compare some parts of life? Do you remember some important
comparison that the catechist told you? How is the catechesis today in your
• Sometimes we are
the road side, sometimes the rock; other times the thorns or thistles, and
other times good earth. What am I? What are we in our community? Which are the
fruits which the Word of God is producing in my life, in my family, and in our
community: thirty, sixty, one hundred?
5) Concluding Prayer
Yahweh in his
throne is in heaven;
his eyes watch
over the world,
scrutinises the children of Adam. (Ps 11,4)