17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
The good seed [is] the children of the Kingdom.
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:36 – 43) is taken from Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of heaven. He uses examples from everyday experience to shed light on divine mysteries. In today’s passage (Matthew 13:38), Jesus explains the meaning of his parable about the good seed and the weeds that grow together. On the one hand, there is the hidden power and fruitfulness of the seed. On the other, Jesus reminds us of the danger of the enemy and the damage caused by sin.
Both principles are at work in our lives. Jesus says that the good seed is the children of the kingdom—that’s us! This image of the good seed reveals the source of our fruitfulness: God himself. This means that his good seed is already alive in us. It was planted in us through Baptism, and it is nourished by the sacraments and other encounters with God’s grace. Day after day, the Holy Spirit is constantly at work making the seed grow, even when we can’t see it, and opening up the power hidden within that seed.
Still, we cannot forget the efforts of the enemy to sow weeds in us. We all experience temptations to habitual sins or vices that damage our human relationships. We can also fall prey to the subtle lies that harm our relationship with God. “God doesn’t really love me,” we think. “He sees my sin and has already condemned me.”
Take this image of the seed to prayer. God has sown many good seeds in your life. Thank him for them! Now ask the Spirit how you can tend to just one seed today. Perhaps God has planted forgiveness in your heart and helped you to repair a relationship. How can you help this seed grow? You might begin by praying for that person and finding ways to bear with the things they do that annoy you. Maybe you could try to resist the temptation to judge them. Most of all, you can pray for grace, for it is “God who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7).
There is immense power in this good seed—infinitely stronger than the power of the weeds. As John encouraged the early Christians, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
“Holy Spirit, help me water the seeds you have planted in me.”
Psalm 79: 8-9, 11, 13