First Reading Isaiah 55:10-11
Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do’. The Word of the Lord
R/ Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop
You care for the earth, give it water, you fill it with riches, your river in heaven brims over to provide its grain. R/
And thus you provide for the earth; you drench its furrows; you level it, soften it with showers; you bless its growth. R/
You crown the year with your goodness. Abundance flows in your steps, in the pastures of the wilderness it flows. R/
The hills are girded with joy, the meadows covered with flocks, the valleys are decked with wheat. They shout for joy, yes, they sing. R/
Second Reading Romans 8:18-23
I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. The Word of the Lord
Gospel Matthew 13:1-23
Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables. He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’ Then the disciples went up to him and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled: You will listen and listen again, but not understand see and see again, but not perceive.
PROMPTS FOR FAITH-SHARING
Through the prophet Isaiah, God announces ‘(T)he word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do’. How do you make room for God’s word to form your life?
In his letter to the Romans, St Pauls uses the image of ‘giving birth’ to describe the suffering or hardship that disciples must undergo leading to redemption. When have you suffered or undergone hardship for a goal or relationship?
Looking back on your life through the lens of today’s parable, have you experienced environments that have been like rocky ground, thorny ground, or rich soil?
How can you cultivate rich soil within your life now so as to grow in faith?