Reflection on the Daily Readings for 7/22/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Wed. of 16th week. Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15. Psalm
78:18-19.23-24.25-26.27-28. Matthew 13:1-9. Lectionary # 397:

Recently we have heard these words of Jesus to us: "The harvest is great
but the laborers are few.Pray that the Lord of the harvest send laborers."
This helps us pray for the vocations needed in the area of religious life
and priesthood.  Jesus saw this need in his time and we today especially
feel it in the diminshment of the numbers in religious congregations and in
the priesthood.  The laity has taken up the challenge and helped in so many
ways, but we know the need for other laborers who would proclaim, witness,
and share the sacraments with the people of God.
The Gospel leads us to think about Jesus preaching in parables about the
kingdom.  From Mark the Evangelist we are led to believe that the parable
of the sower is the first one to be recorded in a Gospel since it is Mark
who has given it to us.  Here we find Matthew using the same parable in his
Gospel but not as the first.  Matthew gives it a later use in his Gospel
and has his own twist on it together with his theological interests.  But
whoever is handing it on to us, we can think that Jesus is the one who has
initiated the sowing of the seeds. He hopes for a bountiful harvest and it
is there as we learn from the ending and punch line of the parable. His
teachings, his preachings, and his healings and his getting rid of the
demonic nuissances that try to destroy the growth coming from the seeds
strewn everywhere are the way in which the harvest comes about.

We are to look for the main point of emphasis in the way in which Jesus
preached the parables. Allegorizing them is a later step probably done by
the Evangelist rather than Jesus himself who had the great gift of knowing
how to create and deliver a parable.  We think of him as one of the first
names that comes to mind when we hear the word parable.  Even in the World
Fair held in New York several decades ago had a great film on Jesus called
The Parable. So what point can we take from hearing the parable today in
the liturgy of the word?  Would it not call for our attention and our
awareness of what he is saying to us? Perhaps, it is meant to stir us up to
think about it, ponder it over as we prepare ourselves to be open to the
word of God as the best of soil was. Then we may be prepared to help gather
in the harvest.  Our soul soil makes this possible for a successful harvest
and gathering in of it. Amen.