15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 12/7/2020 - Gospel: Mt 13: 1-9
Living in Hope
Farmers live in hope. They work hard, hoping in the coming months they will have a rich harvest. Hope begins at the time they sow the seeds, and the hope is growing as they see the seedlings growing healthy and strong. As long as the seeds are in the farmer's hands, he has some control of the seeds, but when he scatters the seeds to the soil, he has no control of the seeds. The farmer aims to have all the seeds falling on good, fertile soil, but it will not always be the case. There would be some seeds falling on the hedgerows, others on rocky soil, and others again falling on thorny soil. With right conditions all the seeds that remained in the soils grow, but only the seeds left on the good, fertile soil give hope for a great harvest. The rest die, for various reasons, such as birds pick them up straightway, or thorns choked the seeds, or because lack of nutrition and moisture on rocky soil caused the seeds to wither. A single seed which fell on the good soil will give sixty, or hundredfold at harvest time.  Jesus used the image of a farmer sowing seeds to talk about the message of joy, and hope in having faith in Him. He talked to the crowds and His disciples. They were all familiar with the image of a farmer sowing seeds. The crowds and His disciples received the message differently. The seeds are excellent seeds, no doubt. They are the word of God; the soils are the people, the human hearts. The reception of the seeds is the readiness of the human heart to accept the message of hope. The good soil received the Word. It took root and grew and produced great results. Farmers try their best, and the rest depends on nature. Jesus' disciples try their best to spread the message of hope, and the rest is God's work. Those who welcome the Word with an open, and genuine heart, become Jesus' disciples.

Both the disciples, and the crowds heard the parable, but did not received the same message. The disciples asked Jesus for more clarification, while the crowds asked for more signs. Jesus told the disciples that the mysteries of 'the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away'. Mat. 13, 11. Having faith in Jesus first, the decoding of the message of hope comes second, and that was what Jesus' disciples had. The disciples believed in Jesus, and receive more revelation. They may not fully understand right away, but slowly, bit by bit they come to understand the message. The crowds showed themselves to have no faith in Jesus. They demanded to have more signs. They received neither signs nor the message. Jesus' disciples received the Word and acted on it, and their lives changed towards God, and their spiritual life grew. Having faith in Jesus, like a farmer, we live in great hope, and our hope is real, because it is not us, but Jesus, Who is our hope and our everlasting life.

Today's readings examine the movements of a human heart in responding to God's kingdom. The Word is firm, unchanged, but the conditions of a human heart fluctuate, causing by trial, or riches, or fame. One can identify several kinds of soils within oneself in one single day living.  We pray to have more faith in Jesus.