Matthew 13:18-23 NRSVue
18“Hear, then, the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21yet such a person has no root but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away., 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Jesus speaks of the word of God as something organic and growing. Let me think back to seeds that have grown in my heart: probably happenings rather than preachers’ words. I saw a kindness, a courageous stance, an example of honesty that cost the honest man dearly. That was the seed. It stayed with me, and was active in my heart. In the same way I sometimes find, to my delight, that others have noticed something I did or said, and it became a seed in their heart, yielding good fruit over the years.
Jesus explains the story of the sower and the seed. He knows that we have different levels of hearing and responding to him. Maybe this story can throw some light on the desires in our heart to bear fruit; or on what may prevent me from heating fully the word of god. There are thorns in all of us; with Jesus we can remove them so that we may bear more fruit.
I allow my imagination to dwell with the scene that Jesus presents, picturing the growth, identifying threats to it. I take care not to allow the weeds and barrenness to dominate but accept that God pictures a flourishing harvest and never gives up that hope for me.
I think of how I might remain on the alert for anything that threatens the word that is given to me: the life that Jesus offers can be leached away by sceptical attitudes, cynical comments, despairing attitudes or unkind words.