Gospel: Mt 13:18-23
Now listen to the parable of the sower.
When a person hears the message of the kingdom, but does not take it seriously, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed that fell along the footpath.
The seed that fell on rocky ground stands for the one who hears the word, and accepts it at once with joy. But such a person has no roots, and endures only for a while. No sooner is he harassed or persecuted because of the word, than he gives up.
The seed that fell among the thistles is the one who hears the word; but then, the worries of this life and the love of money choke the word; and it does not bear fruit.
As for the seed that fell on good soil, it is the one who hears the word and understands it; this seed bears fruit and produces a hundred, or sixty, or thirty times more.“
Contrary to the perception of many of our contemporaries, moral laws are not oppressive requirements that restrict human freedom but necessary guideposts for meaningful existence. The commandments, such as the ones given in Exodus (First Reading) are expressive of the great concern that the Lord has for us His children. They reveal to us that He is truly the Good Shepherd who does not leave his flock alone but leads them to green pasture and protects them from danger. Obedience to these commandments will bring us to the kingdom of God. As Jesus told the young man who asked how he could gain eternal life: “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.“ (Mt 19:17)
The gospel reading presents Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the sower. What is highlighted is the variety of human responses to the Word of God. There are likewise varied ways of responding to the commandments. How have we accepted and personally responded to them? How have we been preparing our hearts to receive God’s word (commandments)? Have we been bearing a rich harvest of goodness, virtues, good works and healthy relationships?