Jesus privately reveals the meaning of the Parable of the Sower to His disciples. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can joyously thank God through his words and deeds and by seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can be motivated to continually strive to meet Christ’s high expectations.
16th Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Mt 13:18-23
After describing why He teaches in parables, Jesus continues with His “Sermon in Parables” (Mt 13) by revealing to His disciples an in-depth understanding of the Parable of the Sower. This magnificent parable describes the disposition of men to hear God, the Spiritual Combat, the confirmation of Satan’s work in the world, and God’s high expectations of fruitfulness for His men.
Jesus explains the parable by describing four different reactions (Soils) to God’s (the Sower) announcement (Sowing) of the word of the Kingdom of Heaven (the Seed). Men who hear but don’t care to understand about the Kingdom (the path) are seduced by the Evil One/Satan (the birds). Men who hear but only have an initial shallow emotional reaction (rocky ground with shallow roots) fall away when tribulation/persecution (the scorching sun) occurs. Men who hear but prefer and are choked by the pleasures of the world (the thorns) fail to bear fruit. Men who hear, understand and persevere to enter the Kingdom (the good soil) bear extraordinary fruit (disciples, love) for Jesus, the King.
Jesus seeks men who will hear, understand, have an absolute commitment to the Kingdom of Heaven and who bear much fruit (the good soil). All others in Jesus’ parable who do not give themselves completely to Him face extremely brutal outcomes: some are seduced by Satan, others are “scorched” by troubles in the world and some are “choked” out by riches/pleasures and become sterile. Only the “good soil” men will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus, Divine King and Leader, trains His disciples: using His experience gained through His Human Nature, Jesus carefully crafts His teaching with metaphors (sowing, reaping) which His men would be able to grasp, learn and repeat to others; the perfection of Diligence (a part of Justice), Jesus uses a deliberate approach to allow His disciples to hear and ponder His parable before providing them an in-depth catechesis; Divine Justice, Jesus speaks clearly about the terrible punishment that comes to those who reject Him and the great rewards that come to those who accept and respond to His call.
Joyously thank God in words and deeds
Realize: In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus calls men to a robust and enduring faith, and condemns men’s lack of faith (indifference, emotionalism, preference for the world); men’s lack of faith is often caused because they fail to see, and are not grateful for, God’s generous gifts in their lives.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sins against God’s Love (CCC 29, 2094).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I more fully appreciate Your generosity, I joyously express my heart-felt thanks to You many times a day, and I constantly demonstrate my gratitude by seeking to serve You; Lord, allow me to be forgiven for my many sins in the Sacrament of Penance.
Seek the Spirit to meet Christ’s high expectations
Realize: To meet Jesus’ extremely high expectations of fruitfulness for men fit for the Kingdom (100, 60, and 30-fold), every Catholic man must rely upon the Holy Spirit to work through him to produce extraordinary fruit.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s high expectations for Fruitfulness and Holiness (CCC 546, 2074, 2012-2016).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of the Fear of the Lord so I more fully comprehend and understand Christ’s high expectations for me, I recognize my inability to meet Christ’s expectations on my own, and I zealously seek Your help to be fruitful; Lord Jesus, strengthen me in Your blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.