Faith Daily | 20 July 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p563
you alone can order our unruly wills and affections:
teach us to love what you command,
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the changes and chances of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 1-9
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Graham
Later in this same chapter (in verses 18-23), Matthew goes on to give Jesus’ explanation of this parable, something he does not do with all his parables. The explanation clarifies quite clearly to whom Jesus is referring.
As I reflected on both passages, I felt that that there are two scenarios. The first is a personal one. I know that in my life, there have been times when I would have been any one of the people Jesus was describing in his explanation. I am thankful that I believe in a loving God who forgives us when we do not listen, or when we ignore what God is saying to us, has forgiven me on many occasions, and does not reject us. I pray that I may be the good soil and continue to hear the word with understanding.
The second is when each of us tries to spread Christ’s word in love and faith. Quite possibly, we will encounter people who fit into each of the categories in the parable and in the explanation. I believe two things are necessary. It is important that we do not judge people if they do not appear to be the good soil, but that we show love to all without favour. And part of showing that love is listening to the person we encounter. It is also important that we do not lose hope, but continue to show God’s love as we move forward in faith. Yes, it can be easy to give up when the results we expect do not appear, but God is with us no matter what the circumstances.
Christ, whose insistent call disturbs our settled lives:
give us discernment to hear your word, grace to relinquish our tasks,
and courage to follow empty-handed wherever you may lead, so that the voice of your gospel may reach to the ends of the earth. Amen.