Scripture: Lectionary 399: Jeremiah 3:14-17. Jeremiah 31:10.11.12.23. Matthew 13:18-23:
“ I will turn their mourning into joy.” This happens whenever Israel turns again to face God’s loving and forgiving countenance. Judah is led to follow the good shepherds who announce this prophetic message.
Most of them are prophets like Isaiah and like Jeremiah whom we hear from today. God gladdens the hearts of the people after the time of sorrow and exile. The prophet Jeremiah is now giving words that are filled with hope and consolation. Even the psalm response is taken from Jeremiah to confirm the message of hope after returning to God.
The horrible days in Babylon are to be ended. Psalms and songs could not be sung there for there was such sorrow and sadness at being separated from Jerusalem and their homeland. Babylon will soon be left and the door of hope opens up for celebration, freedom, and true worship of a loving and caring God.
We return to Jesus’ parable of the sower; now it is being allegorized or fully explained in each of the parts describing the different results of the sown seed. We concentrate only on the most important part, those seeds which fall on good ground and produce fruit a hundredfold, sixty, or thirty fold. Hopefully this represents us who are carefully listening to Jesus words. We hope not only to be the seeds that fall into good soil but also the harvesters who help the Lord in bringing in the good harvest. We witness the parable to others so that they too may follow our example and produce good results. We are among the many who are called but there are few that are chosen to do the work of the Lord by participating in his graces and gifts to us through our faith in him as our creator and redeemer.
Why has the parable been allegorized? Probably to help people learn step by step that which was once so simple that the message was easily missed. It is more the work of those evangelists who handed on what Jesus said and adapted it to the needs of their communities of faith. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.