Sowing With Parables

Our summer Gospel reading continues with Matthew. On the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time we begin with chapter 13, which is filled with parables. Jesus spoke in parables. 

The Teacher Speaks

Speaking in parables was a common teaching tool for Jewish rabbis and Jesus followed this tradition. Parables are not always easy to understand. They are not difficult or complex, in fact they are simple and to the point. When it comes to biblical teachings, theology and philosophy, we all have a tendency to over-think their meanings. When I was studying the New Testament, we were taught that parables are a “simple story, using concrete imagery, to make a single point.” 

Spreading The Word

Jesus used parables to make a single point about the Kingdom of God. One good example is The Parable of the Sower. Sowing seeds was something Jesus’ followers knew something about. It is how they planted their crops. They would take a handful of seeds and spread them out over a small area of ground. It isn't a very efficient way to start a crop because a lot of seed goes to waste. Some seeds fall on hard ground making it impossible to take root. Other seeds fall onto places where they could be stepped on and crushed. Some seeds land in places where birds eat them before they can sprout. And there are seeds which fall onto ground where weeds and grass could choke the sprouting seeds out. Only small percentages of seeds actually grow, flourish and bear fruit. 


This gospel encourages us to ask what kind of seed we are. Are we scattered on rocky soil or fertile ground? Will our seeds bare fruit? If so, how much? It is up to us to create an environment that can produce