Homily for the fifteenth Sunday of the year - Year A - Mt. 13:1-9
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach.
 
" And he told them many things in parables, saying: «A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. "
 
Today, Jesus is in a boat, in order to announce the Good News to his People, to the crowd that is on the beach, on the shore of Lake Tiberias. An unusual situation, it is true. But not a new one. Jesus had once preached in Simon's boat: "Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat." (Lk. 5:3)
 
It is an unusual situation that is explained a little later, after the Resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, we find then the inverse situation: Jesus is on the beach, and the disciples are in the boats, trying in vain to fish: "Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach..." (Jn. 21:4) Jesus will remain on the beach. He will not walk on the water to join his disciples in the boat: "He came to them, walking on the sea." (Mt. 14:25) For, after the Resurrection, the situation has changed!
 
The shore is stable compared to the sea, which fluctuates. The shore is solid ground, the unequivocal sign of the eternal Kingdom of God, the Kingdom we reach only after having sailed across the tumultuous seas of life... So the risen Jesus is on the beach, for Jesus is in the Kingdom, Jesus is the Kingdom! But before his death and resurrection, Jesus is in the boat, in the place of the disciples, and showing them the example to follow.
 
But if the shore is the sign of the Kingdom to come, then the crowd, the People of God who listen to the Master, is, in a certain sense, already in the Kingdom... How could this be? Is it truly possible? Do we not feel each day the inherent instability in this fleeting and transitory life? Of course, we are still on our pilgrimage. But, precisely because we are still on our way, we can already live a new life, one that is stable like the Life of the Kingdom. We can receive within us the very Life of God, through the Sacrament of the Eucharist!
 
" And he told them many things in parables, saying: «A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.» "
 
Jesus in the boat, and the People of God on the shore: a situation that speaks to us of the Kingdom. A situation that leads Jesus to speak of the Kingdom of God. In order that we, the faithful of the People of God, might already live the life of the Kingdom through a better knowledge of this same life (let us recall that the life of God is a life of knowledge - cf. Jn. 17:3), Jesus places himself in an unstable place, in a boat, at the risk of being tossed about and buffeted by the wind. Jesus was the first on the way of the Passion, in order to lead us all to the shore of the Kingdom...
 
Jesus will tell several parables. The first, the one we read today, is that of the sower. We find in this parable he who is at the material origin of every Eucharist: the sower! We also find in it the path of life, with all its traps... Finally, we also find in it four classes of men (or women), of which only one attains salvation in Christ... For the grains are us... For the Eucharist is our life, our true life!
 
May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary teach us to know Jesus and all his Mystery!
 

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