15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 16/7/2017 - Gospel: Mt 13:1-9
Ancient image
The image of a farmer who manually sows seeds on his farm by hands is an ancient image because today we live in the industrial era and most things are done by machines. Sowing season is done by machines and harvesting is also done by machine. Machines that sow seeds have device controls where the seeds should fall and that stops the seeds fall into thorny soil or footpaths. There are things that are unchanged to the modern world and that is the rich soil promises a rich harvest. There is a contrast image between the small amount of seeds sown and the abundant gain at harvest time. After the seeds had been shown the farmers have not much say in what the harvest will be like. All they can do is try their best and hope for the best. The same kind of seeds, sown at the same time at the same field, the harvest is different: some yields thirty; others sixty and others again one hundred and the farmers have no control but only enjoy the harvest.

Jesus used the image of a farmer sowing seeds to talk about God's messengers who sow the seeds of the Gospel-the words of God or the message of God's love- that is sown into human hearts. A heart that opens to the message will make it grow and the words will change the heart and that makes change in the life of a person's thoughts. The word of God is active and it is manifested through acts of charity and mercy.

Wheat grains sown in the soils are subject to all kind of dangers, namely birds and small animals eat them and the weather factors and even the seedlings would be eaten by grasshoppers and snails and slugs. The surviving seeds are the lucky ones and that is what farmers would like to see. Unlike the grains, the words of God have only one condition applied and that is the condition of a heart of a person.
A closed heart will not foster the message and the person could not stop the words of God to make home in them. The words are sleeping or being buried deep within a person's heart because the conditions of the heart are not ready. A closed heart dislikes both the words of God and the messenger who sowed the seeds. The message of God's love becomes the subject of rejection and the messenger becomes the subject of persecution. Farmers have to choose about both the quality and quantity of the seeds being sown and learn about the time when it is right to sow the seeds. The word of God's love is perfect and in plenty and it can be sown at anytime. The messenger can sow the seeds as much as they like with the knowledge that he is not going to dishonour the seeds. There is no limit on how much they allow to sow because the seeds will never run out and they are in top quality. Some messengers of God love by accident found out that the seeds they sow ten or twenty years earlier would now yield fruits and that bring them great joy. The seeds of God's love once sown is not dead but quietly sleep in others' people hearts for sometimes before it start to burst and bloom.