By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 20, 2016
July 20, 2016

Gospel MT 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Reflection:

“On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.”

I cannot help but wonder what was in the hearts of the “large crowds gathered around him.”

Were they hoping for a miracle, or perhaps looking to be cured of a disease? Were some simply passing by and stopped out of curiosity?

“And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.”

A parable is a short story aimed at teaching a moral lesson.

Whether the listener understands and applies the “moral lesson” in their life depends on the heart of the listener.

In today’s parable, the “seed” is the word of God. The various conditions of the “ground” represent the condition of the heart of the listener.

If our hearts are shallow or filled with weeds, if our hearts are stubborn and hard like stone, if our hearts are sharp and cruel like thorns, then we will produce very little fruit from the the seeds of God’s love.

But, if our hearts are rich in compassion, forgiveness, kindness, and love, then the word of God will take hold and we will produce a bountiful harvest.

Jesus understood that the difficulties and challenges of life can soften the most hardened heart. He sowed the word generously, letting the seeds fall where they may.

Like Jesus, we should not concern ourselves about the condition of a person’s heart when sowing the seeds of God’s love.

The seed planted by a parent kneeling at the bedside of a child may not bear fruit until the child is trying to regain their feet after being brought low by the challenges of life.

“The love of God achieves its highest potential in the darkest hour.” – – Unknown



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