15th Sunday of the Year: A
Matthew Chapter: 13 Verses: 1-23
A sower went out to sow
Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.
He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’
The disciples went up to Jesus and asked, ‘Why do you talk to the crowds in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and they will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:
You will listen and listen again, but not understand,
see and see again, but not perceive.
For the heart of this nation has grown coarse,
their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes
for fear they should see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and be converted
and be healed by me.*
But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you the Truth, many prophets and holy people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear and never heard it.’
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in their heart; this is the person who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the person who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and they fall away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the person who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so they produce nothing. And the one who received the word in rich soil is the person who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord
* To put this citation into context here is the next part of Isaiah Chapter 6:
I then said, ‘Until when, Lord?’ He replied, ‘Until towns are in ruins and deserted, houses untenanted and a great desolation reigns in the land, and the Lord has driven the people away and the country is totally abandoned. And suppose one-tenth of them are left in it, that will be stripped again, like the terebinth, like the oak, cut back to the stock; their stock is a holy seed’.
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