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Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time. The reading is from Gospel of Matthew 13:18-23.

The Parable Of The Sower by Harold Copping

The Explanation of the Parable of the Sower – Matthew 13:18-23

Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.

The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.

But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.

The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.

But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.

In this explanation of the parable the emphasis is on the various types of soil on which the seed falls, i.e., on the dispositions with which the preaching of Jesus is received.

The second and third types particularly are explained in such a way as to support the view held by many scholars that the explanation derives not from Jesus but from early Christian reflection upon apostasy from the faith that was the consequence of persecution and worldliness respectively. Others, however, hold that the explanation may come basically from Jesus even though it was developed in the light of later Christian experience.
The four types of persons envisaged are:

(1) those who never accept the word of the kingdom

  • “The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.” (Matthew 13:19)

(2) those who believe for a while but fall away because of persecution

  • “The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.” (Matthew 13:20–21)

(3) those who believe, but in whom the word is choked by worldly anxiety and the seduction of riches

  • “The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.” (Matthew 13:22)

(4) those who respond to the word and produce fruit abundantly

  • “But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Matthew 13:23).

Matthew follows the Marcan and Q sources.

The Explanation of the Parable of the Sower – Mark 4:14–20

The Sower (Le semeur) by James Tissot

The sower sows the word.

These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.

And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.

But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word,

but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.

But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

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The Explanation of the Parable of the Sower – Luke 8:11–15

The Sower

This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God.

Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved.

Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial.

As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit.

But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.

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