Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of Saint Anthony and Theodosius, founders of the caves of Kiev (+1073). They are fathers of Russian and Ukrainian monasticism. Remembrance of Christians in Ukraine and Russia.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13,18-23

'So pay attention to the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path. The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But such a person has no root deep down and does not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once he falls away. The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing. And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel passage reports the explanation of the parable of the sower that Jesus himself gave his disciples. The sower generously spreads the seed, which is the "word of the Kingdom," Jesus clarifies. We could say that is the Gospel, that is the word that opens the kingdom in the hearts of people and of history. We know that the proclamation of the kingdom is the heart of Jesus' words. Jesus starts the explanation and clarifies that there are four kinds of soil where the seed is thrown by the sower. The seeds that fall on the road - which are our hearts when they become impenetrable and bent on themselves - are stolen by the Evil One. The Word is sown but we are so concentrated on ourselves that we do not understand and do not accept the gift given to us. Of course, the hope is that when the sower returns to sowing, he will find a more available soil so that the seed can sprout. Then there is that part of seeds that fall into a stony soil: we are faced with those who also listen willingly but difficulties, tribulations, and anxieties prevent the seed from growing. Then there is the seed that falls among thorns: that is, in the heart of those who listen to the Word, but worldly worries and above all wealth become so cumbersome as to prevent it from growing. Finally there is the good soil, that is, the heart of those who listen and let the seed grow and reach maturity. It does not matter the amount of harvest, what matters is that it is there. We could say that bearing fruit means being able to help the sower to sow the seed in our turn. This is the meaning of the exhortation to the disciples to pray to the Father to send workers into his vineyard. The workers are called to be the sower: they need to go out every day and sow the seed of the Gospel with the same generosity of the sower.