SPEAK YOUR WORD TO US            Mtt. 13.1-23

A parable is a device used in teaching. It can be a proverb, an exemplary story or some kind of allegory. The listener is the one left to interpret the meaning of the parable, trying to detect the meaning or the lesson to be observed from this parable. In the parable is there the hidden meaning of some kind of wisdom, advice or truth is to be discovered. It is a skillful technique that engages a puzzled and inquiring mind. The parable itself unravels and unfolds as the person allows the mind to comprehend and seek the truth

Jesus often resorts to parables. Since the people do not understand his teachings verbatim he enters into a parabolic speech, thus teasing and challenging the minds of his hearers. A person who seeks to discover the hidden meaning of the parable must firstly understand the original meaning of Jesus, then the application of the early church; finally the theological understanding of the author (p.142, Matthew, John P Meier).

The 13th chapter of Matthew is dedicated to the parables of Jesus. There are seven parables in the Gospel of Matthew, namely, the parable of the sower; parable of the wheat and weeds; mustard seeds, the leaven, treasure, pearl and the fishnet. These cleverly skilled brainteasers are the mark of Jesus’ wisdom to bring the people to an understanding of the relationship between God and His people. The parables are at its best, thought provoking. Their aim is to have the mind ticking, analyzing and reflecting so as top come to a better understanding of the teachings of Jesus.

The first parable is that of the sower. When Jesus was speaking to the crowds his attention may have been caught by the farmer who was casually scattering the seed. As \the seed is sown Jesus is able to illustrate a lesson. Jesus as the Son of Man and Son of God desires to express that is within in his heart. He uses the method of parabolic speech to express the inexpressible. His parables are centered on natural life that was experienced at that time. A good homilist will always seek to observe those things that are in people’s attention. The homilist will use that to convey the message intended. This is a very good technique as the listeners are more prone to understand because it fits in to their life situation.

In the first parable, Jesus teaches that the seed is the word of God sown in our hearts. How have we responded to the Word of God? Has it fallen on good soil or hard rock? What are the distractions I find in my life that are drawing me away from the Lord? Do I hear the word of God and keep it? Or I am I swayed by others opinions and “words”?

I thank you Lord for the way that you have spoken your word into my life. You have the words of eternal life. Help me to be attentive to your word. Amen