Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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 a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore, and he told them many things in parables. He said, '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!'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel presents Jesus along the Sea of Galilee. He is forced to get on a boat because of the large crowd that came to listen to him. Jesus tells a parable that he considers particularly important, so much so that later he explains it himself to the disciples. The fundamental meaning is clear: the believer lives by listening to the Gospel and not by his own presumption. Here - Jesus begins to say - the sower leaves early in the morning to sow. That sower is not a measured calculator; what is more, he seems to put his trust in those soils that look more like a road or a pile of stones rather than ploughed and ready soil. And yet, even there the sower throws the seed, hoping that it will take root. The soil is humanity, all men and women, including us. And it is not difficult to recognize in the diversity of the soil the complexity of societies and individuals. However, Jesus does not want to divide men and women according to the categories of soil. The communities as a whole and each one of us summarize all the diversity of soil reported in the Gospel. Perhaps one day we are more stony and another less so; other times we welcome the Gospel but then let ourselves be surprised by temptation; and at another time we listen and bear fruit. The Word of God is the seed of which Jesus speaks in the parable. And the seed is always a gift that must be immersed in the soil that we are. Our hands, accustomed perhaps to touch things that we judge great and of value, consider this small seed as a small thing. How many times we have considered our traditions and beliefs far more important than the weak and fragile word of the Gospel! Yet, just as in the small seed is gathered all the strength that will lead to the future plant, so in the Gospel word lies the energy that creates our future and that of the world. The important thing is not to oppose it.