When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.”
As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When Catholic missionaries first arrived in Korea in the mid-1800’s, they found a whole community of Christians already practicing their faith…a faith passed on by lay people since the early 17th century. St. Andrew and St. Paul were the first native Korean Catholic priests to join the Society of Jesus. They were articulate in sowing the seeds of faith as Jesus describes in today’s gospel. They gave their lives in witness to the faith on this day in 1846.
You and I may not be asked to live the gospel in such a notable way. Yet our words and actions do make a difference as friends and family members come to grow in faith. Will I offer the “rocky ground” of the gospel to those I meet today? Can my actions sometimes cause God’s word to “fall among briers”? Do the “cares and riches and pleasures of life” prevent others from discovering the face of Jesus in my daily actions and conversation? Just today may God’s word take root in my heart “a hundred-fold,” spreading the Lord’s life and love in all that I speak and accomplish.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
O God, you have created all nations and peoples; you are our salvation. In the land of Korea your call to Catholic faith formed a people whose growth you nurtured by the blood of St. Andrew, St. Paul, and their companions. Through their sacrifice give us strength to live the gospel in our own time and to sow seeds of faith and service wherever we go. Stir our hearts to walk with you now and always. Amen!Please share the Good Word with your friends!