A Parable Explained

In today’s Morning Prayer, the Gospel Reading is Matthew 13:18-23.

 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’

Usually, when Jesus tells a parable, it is given without explanation. Tuesday’s Gospel reading was Matthew 13:1-9, and today’s reading is its explanation. I suspect that when a parable is explained, we should listen, it doesn’t happen often.

My personal preference would be to not have an explanation, to savor the mystery, to leave some room for interpretation.  Sometimes we don’t get what we want.

The parable of the sower is a favorite of mine.  It is about kingdom things which intrigue me and sometimes perplex me, and it is about earthly things like seeds and soil which I know a little about.  I know what happens when seed is not sown well, if it doesn’t have good conditions, you can’t expect to see growth over the long-term.

Jesus says, if you hear the word of the kingdom and understand it, then real growth happens.

How’s your kingdom garden growing?

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