The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“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 thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear." (From Mathew 13:1-23)
I invite us today to consider this parable from a slightly different point of view. The traditional interpretation is that God is the sower, the One who plants, the seed is His Word, and the soil is us and leads us to the question, “how receptive am I to God’s Word?” For a moment, though, consider that we are all coworkers with the Lord in the vineyard, in the field, and the question, “what kind of seed are we sowing?” Consider this question with regard to our actions and also our words, something very common place for us.
One of the people for whom I have always had the deepest respect has been my brother. As far back as I can remember, from when he started working for the first time in late high school and college, he has always been respected by those with whom he works: his coworkers, is supervisors, you name it. And I believe, I know that it is because of his style of interacting with other people, especially in difficult situations. He just has a way about him in this regard. His philosophy that guides him is simple and one with which we all agree; namely, that, “if something needs to be said, there is a way to say it. If something needs to be said, then the ‘how’ can make all the difference in the world.” Even in our family, he has often been the one to bring the peace, because of his approach to a situation. In other words, he sows good seed.
In our everyday interactions with other people we have the opportunity to sow good seed or to sow bad seed. Just in our attitude alone we can sow seed that builds up or tears others down. We can affect their feelings, their mood, and even their sense of purpose. The choice is ours. We can sow bitterness or we can sow forgiveness; prejudice or acceptance; dishonesty or the truth. This does not mean that, in saying the necessary thing in the right way will not bring with it deep emotion. It certainly at times will. But again, there is a way so say everything, and that “way” must have the blanket of compassion over it.
Mother Teresa is quoted to have said, “kind words can be spoken quickly, but their echoes endure forever.” Every one of us knows that our words can make a lasting impression on people’s hearts and leave a lasting memory on their hearts and lives. What kind of memories are we leaving?
What kind of seeds are we sowing?