REFLECTION | ‘Whoever has ears, ought to hear’

July 16, 2017 - 8:32 AM
Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon.

One day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.

And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. I sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
—Matthew 13:1-9

Jesus had become a popular storyteller. His antic was new to the people as he preached thru stories and parables. In effect, hundreds came to listen to him. They were hungry for the message of God.

The people missed the preaching of the prophets. People needed to hear what the message of God through Jesus, the most credible and believable messenger of the Lord’s words.

Jesus got into a parked boat on the sea of Galilee, then he sat down. Next, he started to speak at length. The gospel is a beautiful reminder of what should be our role and tasks as Christians today. The parable is very timely as it talks about how we receive God’s word in the image of the seeds being sown by the sower.

Listening to the Word of God is our response and action to what the Lord wants us to do. The Word of God is likened to a seed that is sowed by the sower. The seed may grow or die as it depends on the soil just as the Word of God may grow or die as it depends on the heart that receives it.

Does the seed fall in a fertile soil or not? Perhaps it landed on rocky ground or on the ground that has only little soil. Then the seed dies just like the faith that is not grounded because it has not gone deep down the soil and had itself rooted.

The Word of God is truth and life, which our Lord Jesus himself had proclaimed and taught his disciples. The Word of God that gives and sustains life comes from Jesus alone. The Word of God has been announced, preached, and taught to us by the disciples and by our Church leaders today. It should be given a serious look and consideration.

The Word of God continues to be relevant today especially as we contemplate on how we can become better Christians: Do I allow the Word of God grow and flourish in my life or not? Does the Word of God become my strength and guide in building relationships with others? Do I keep the Word of God and live by it? Does the Word of God inspire every member of my family? Have we grown in our faith as one family?

The Word of the Lord is sown in our hearts, but are we that receptive and accepting? Have we welcomed the “sower” (God) in the fields (our hearts)? Does the seed that the sower had planted in our lives have grown? Did we take care of the grown plant in our field called life?

The Word of God that is proclaimed and shared with us require a recipient who is open to listening—one who has a listening heart to understand the core message of love and be blessed. The Word of God is embodied and enfleshed in the various signs of our times that need to be read, discerned, and heard for necessary responses and appropriate actions.

The Word of God will prosper when the receiving person has an open, pure, and sincere heart. In this way, one can be transformed in God’s own way and will, and not by human standards. This is a difficult duty but we strive and give our best. Thus, we keep our ears open so we can hear exactly God’s rightful message for us.

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:
Do I clearly hear the call of God to me everyday?

Do I firmly believe that God is calling me to holiness?

Is my heart a rich, fertile and healthy soil? Does the Word of God flourish in my heart?

Is my Christian witnessing real and authentic? Do I bear and produce good fruits for others to taste and enjoy?

Do I share the gift of self with others so they may also appreciate and learn their capacity their gifts of selves with others?

Almighty and Ever- living God, we thank you for your Word that gives life and nourishes life. May we remain faithful to you and joyfully do your holy will for your glory and for our brothers and sisters in the way to holiness. May we become worthy channels of your love and bearers and stewards of your Jesus your Son. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray for those whom we had promised to pray for, may the Lord listen to their petitions and grant their intentions. We also remember in our prayers those who are not active and involved in the Church’s varied pastoral ministries; those who are just nominal Christians and not by examples, may the Lord show them the truth and all truth about the realities of creation and redemption and realize that they are called and invited to follow God’s commands of proclaiming the Word of the Lord to all corners of the world. We also remember in our prayers all the members of the Carmelite Family all over the world as they celebrate the feast of their patroness, Mary, the Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.