Grace to you!
I draw from the Lord’s teachings in Matthew 13, and share how God’s word speaks to all possible human conditions and produces fruit for willing hearts.
As I read the Gospel of Matthew chapter 13, I notice the Lord used many parables (seven parables) to communicate the message of his kingdom. Many scholars suggest that Matthew 13 could be described as a parable chapter, or “the parable (parabolic) discourse” (The Navarre Bible, Saint Matthew’s Gospel, 2005, pp. 101–102). This is because the chapter contains more parables than any other in the Gospels.
I notice how excellent a teacher is the Lord. As a teacher myself, I can’t but be drawn by the Lord’s conversational style and unparalleled use of imageries. The parables and imageries used hit home to his audience. The Lord doesn’t talk over the head of his listeners. He draws them in from simple things into the deeper truths. His words come alive. They make real hidden truths of the Kingdom.
One notices how the Lord describes the function of the grace of God’s word using the parable of the sowing of the seed. This seed sown is himself, as the divine Logos made flesh (cf. Jn 1:1-14).
This word is alive and active (Heb 4:12). It is powerful in itself. It is capable in itself to reveal itself for anyone to see. The Lord reveals to us the richness of life. He provides grace to cooperating hearts.
Walter J. Ong, in hisThe Presence of the Word, wrote about how this word is a seed sown through generations among different peoples. It calls for “preparedness for an encounter” (p. 295). Some grasp this Word. Others rarely do. Yet in discovering it, we reach the finest of human life. This seed is powerful and addresses diverse human conditions. It permeates every facet of life.
The seed is scattered. This speaks to how lavish the Word is to be shared to all. It has to be shared to as many situations as possible. It spreads to different human conditions. Every possible situation of the human mind and condition is met by the seed. From rising to going later to bed, moment by moment, God sows this seed in different manners of actual graces. God uses people to do so. God does so too in ways known to God alone.
The word could be seen as the rich water in which the human soul and spirit swim. In it is fruitfulness and life. Some don’t want to swim or be washed. Some do but can’t relax for a refreshing bath. They simply walk out of the stream. Others swim and relish the refreshing/cleansing power of this heavenly water. They settle in it for a lifelong immersion and delight. This is the best place to be.
See the sowing of the seed as a continuum in every human situation. Those who realize that God goes on working, goes on revealing Godself, and goes on speaking the Word, tap into that overflowing grace.
They immerse in it. Their heart so open and willing to cooperate with God, produces the incredible harvest depending on their individual dispositions. The most important is for the seed to be rooted and to grow. Your enduring yes is all that is needed. Leave the rest to God.
I pray that God will give us the grace of a listening ear, to hear the word as it ministers to every second of our life and situation. May we cooperate with God and bear much fruit. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 16 Ordinary Time: Ex 16:1-5, 9-15; Mt 13:1-9]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.