A professor in a college English class said to his students, “If you will just take a new word and use it 10 times, it will be yours forever.” Whereupon, a young woman in the class looked dreamily out of the window and sighed, “Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Oh! Johnny...” Jesus’ parables have been told and retold many times so that his teachings “will be yours forever.” One such parable is that of the sower. Read our Sunday gospel Mt. 13:1-23... The parable is a story of symbols. GOD is the sower, the seed, the word of God or his teachings. The soil symbolizes the various types of people who hear and give responses to God’s word.

The people who received the seed on the WAYSIDE refer to those who allow the devil to take the word of God out of their hearts. For instance, they give in to doubts that the Church is out of date, old fashioned and irrelevant, hence, have nothing to do with it. Those who received the seed on ROCKY ground are those who welcome it with great joy and enthusiasm. But having no depth, they fizzle out. These are the people who start enthusiastically, say, with the Charismatic groups or even in prayer groups and mandated organizations like the Legion of Mary and Knights of Columbus, but then their spirit lags, then they fizzle out.

The THORNY soil refers to people who hear the word of God but the care and worries of the world choke it. This is the type of person who is so busy and preoccupied with material pursuits that the very important things, like prayer, get crowded out. There is no time for God and spiritual ideas.

Finally, there is the GOOD soil. It symbolizes those who are receptive to God’s word and respond by applying it to themselves and bear fruits of good deeds. This is the best soil to choose! God’s Word or the “seed” is not mere entertainment or diversion as when you read a novel or watch a TV program.

We listen to the readings of the Mass and the homily (even if it can be dragging sometimes) and pick out valuable lessons worth applying in day to day life. If, for example, you hear the Parable of the Good Samaritan or the Last Judgment, it should stimulate you to be compassionate to the desperately needy. If it is the story of the Prodigal Son, it should move you to sorrow and repentance for your sins and failings but draw hope from an ever merciful Father. The seed of God’s word and his teaching has immense power to reproduce and bear fruit in our lives. All God asks is that we provide the GOOD SOIL that is an open and receptive spirit through which God can work out to build his kingdom in this world.

Let us close with a prayer: Lord Jesus, sower of the seed of God’s word, help me respond to your word, not only with our whole mind and our whole heart, but also with our whole soul. Amen.

Who is a Christian Steward? The USCC stewardship pastoral, is a workbook, designed to help parish leaders acquire a broad and in-depth comprehension of Christian stewardship. It contains questions and discussions regarding the total view of stewardship. In this third week of July, we celebrate the optional memorials of SS. Camillus de Lellis, Apolinaris, and Lawrence of Brindisi and on the 22nd, the feast of Mary Magdalene, the first witness of the Resurrection of the Lord. She was called “the apostle of the Apostles.”

This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God bless! Take care, it is summer time.

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie