FIRST READING

“I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

The beginning of the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1,4-10)

The word of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I amonly a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 71:1-2.3-4a.5-6ab.15ab and 17 (R. 15ab)

R/. My mouth will tell of your salvation, Lord

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

In your justice, rescue me, free me;

incline your ear to me and save me. R/.

Be my rock, my constant refuge,

a mighty stronghold to save me

for you are my rock, my stronghold.

my God, free me from the hand of the wicked. R/.

R/. My mouth will tell of your salvation, Lord.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,

my trust, O Lord, from my youth.

On you I have leaned from my birth;

from my mother’s womb, you have been my help. R/.

My mouth will tell of your justice,

and all the day long of your salvation.

O God, you have taught me from my youth,

and I proclaim your wonders still. R/.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. The seed is the word of God, and the sower is Christ; all who find him will abide for ever. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

They brought forth 8rain a hundred fold

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13:1-9)

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.

The Gospel of the Lord

Today’s Reflection

Jesus’ Characteristic mode of teaching the crowd is through “parables,” that is, stories with a moral. Given the nature of the according to Matthew, we expect t a chapter in which the parable are clubbed together. And true to our expectation, the chapter on parables begins with the parable of the Sower. Despite its traditional title of “Parable of the Sower” the focus is on the seed and their yield. The assumption is that all the seeds are good. The problem is the soil where the seeds are sown. In contrast to the first three (the path, the rocky ground and the thorns) the good soil yields an amazingly rich harvest. A hundredfold may be an exaggeration, for it is a highly unusual yield. The point is that the seed has potential, but the soil must be good. How receptive are we to the word of God?

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