15th Sunday A Matthew 13: 1-13
I love your simple story of the sower, / With all its close attention to the soil, Its movement from the knowledge to the knower, / Its take on the tenacity of toil.
I feel the fall of seed the sower scatters, / So equally available to all, Your story takes me straight to all that matters, / Yet understands the reasons why I fall.
Oh deepen me where I am thin and shallow, / Uproot in me the thistle and the thorn, Keep far from me that swiftly snatching shadow, / That seizes on your seed to mock and scorn.
O break me open, Jesus, set me free, / Then find and keep your own good ground in me. Malcolm Guite
Imagine a sower going out to sow…. Humans have always had an inner sense of God, the sense of a presence of something beyond and greater than themselves, surely the hundredfold from the seed nestling in rich soil. Despite all our technology, people feel a need for an inner connectedness that their followers on social media don’t seem to provide. They have deep questions about themselves and about life that can be answered neither by science nor theology. The teachings and rules of the church are often experienced like the seed in the gospel that falls on rocky ground. The answer they are looking for is found not at that level but in deeper forms of spirituality.
The spiritual journey is a journey inward, a path to deeper realization and personal transformation. It’s an awakening to the reality of the spiritual and to God’s action in the world and in our own lives. The accounts in the gospels of Jesus calling people to follow him, healing people who had life changing illnesses and befriending tax collectors and sinners, are seen not so much as events that happened long ago but as something that’s happening here and now through the loving action of God’s Spirit in us – Rom 5:5 They are experienced as stories about us who are loved by God in this place and at this moment. The good news of the Gospel is meant to be experienced in our own lives rather than understood as moral hints and reminders about doing good to others. To experience the Gospel in this way is to encounter Christ.
Contemplative forms of prayer (and spirituality) have to do with withdrawing attention from our thoughts etc. in order to rest like a seed in a gentle, open attentiveness to divine reality. Jesus prayed that we would experience that deep sense of being in God, being united with God when he asked that “all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” –John 17: 21. In other words that we would experience the fullness of Christ’s consciousness, that we would discover within us the mind of Christ, the kingdom of God that resides within us and in which we already reside, even if we don’t realise it. This is like the seed resting in rich soil and bearing fruit.
Fr. QQ. 07/12/2023