Sunday, July 10, 2011



One day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.

And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

God’s Word shares in His creative and healing power. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps 33:6). And when the Word became a frail human being, the words He uttered possessed a power which no human word could have. They stilled storms (see Mt 8:23); restored sick people to health (see, for instance, Lk 17:11-14); called dead persons back to life (see Lk 7:11-17; Mt 5:41 and Jn 11:43f); subjugated the devil (see Mk 1:25-27). By the power of His Word, a piece of bread and a cup of wine were and are transformed into His Body and Blood!

The word of Christ had the power to transform people: a simple fisherman was transformed into the leader of the Church (Peter); a persecutor, into a tireless apostle (Paul); a hardened sinner, into an announcer of the Resurrection (Mary Magdalene).

Sown like a seed in the hearts of men, Christ’s word can work incredible wonders. But, for all its divine, omnipotent power, his word will bear fruit only if and to the extent that we allow it to do so. Its fruitfulness depends on our response – our openness, sincerity, generosity, perseverance.

The wonderful transformation undergone by Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene and innumerable others can become our own personal experience, if we want. Thanks to the power of the Word, in spite of our weakness, we can soar to greatness and thus make the Kingdom a magnificent reality in us and around us. But if we are proud, self conceited, backsliding, inconsistent, stone-like. , then the Word’s Divine Power will be reduced to nothing because of our weakness and wickedness.

Today, as at the creation of the world and as two thousand years ago, God sends His Word to us. It is up to me and you to let it bear fruit in plenty as it has the power to do.

But there is more to today’s message than the challenge to let the seed of God’s Word bear fruit in our lives.

The other part of the message concerns the sower – the sower we are called to be. This is very much a part of our vocation as disciples of the Lord who are expected to become apostles, i.e., believers sent to proclaim the Word. We are all called not only to receive and treasure God’s Word in our hearts and to make it bear abundant fruit in our life, but also to sow it in the hearts of other people. This demands of us the faith, the hope, the humility, and the optimism of the sower.

The sower scatters the seed with faith because he believes that the seed has immense potentials of life, and the land to which he entrusts it has the power to transform those potentials into reality. We should have the same faith when we present God’s Word to our brothers and sisters.

The sower scatters the seed abundantly even in days of drought, hoping that the rain will come and transform the dusty fields into the fertile wombs that will bring forth an abundant harvest. So should we continue preaching the Word with undying hope, even when we do not see signs of a positive response. God’s Word has a very long life. It can bear fruit at a time and in ways that elude our limited perceptiveness.

Faith and hope, joined together, produce optimism: the optimism of the one who knows how to confidently wait for the rain to fall, the sun to shine, and the breeze to blow . . . till the harvest season comes, in God’s own time.