It's always a good idea to read the Gospel passage before listening to or reading the reflection. 

CLICK HERE to read today's Gospel passage

CLICK HERE to listen to this reflection on the 5 Minute Gospel Podcast

A sower went out to sow his seed’, Jesus says to us today as St Luke recounts for us the Parable of the Sower. At the time of Jesus in Israel, many people lived off the land on small family farms worked by family members.  So, even if they did not grow a crop themselves, everyone knew about preparing the land and sowing seed.  

As the Sower scattered the seed, it fell on different kinds of soil. Some fell on the path, was walked on and the birds ate it. Some fell on rock where it started to grow but with no soil it died off. Some fell amongst thorns and could not grow. Finally, some fell on rich soil and produced a good crop. 

St Luke gives us an explanation of the parable, which is summed up in its opening sentence: 

‘The seed is the word of God.’ 

As we read this parable today, we can be tempted to ask ourselves: How do I receive the Word of God? Which kind of soil and I? Am I hard, like the path and the rocks? Do I choke the Word, like thorny soil? Or am I good soil where the Word can grow? 

A better way of thinking about the parable might be to see that at different times each of us might be any one of these. 

As Christians, Jesus’ Word comes to us in the ordinary reality of our everyday lives as we struggle with good times and bad, sickness and health, sadness and joy. Our listening to God’s Word has its ups and downs. 

  • Sometimes, when we hear God’s Word, it can bounce off us – like seed on a path. 

  • Sometimes, when we hear God’s Word, it cannot penetrate us – like seed hitting rock. 

  • Sometimes, when we hear God’s Word, we can be so wrapped up in our own lives that the word is choked – like seed that won’t grow in thorns. 

  • Now, before we get too depressed, remember that there are also times, when we hear God’s Word and we are like rich soil. Then, God’s Word does not bounce off us, it is not chocked, but it penetrates us and grows in us. In these times, our lives produce good things – we produce a good harvest. 

How can we make sure our lives are ‘rich soil’ for Jesus’ Word all time? How can we let Jesus’ Word have greater influence on our words, actions and attitudes each day? 

Jesus tells us: 

Listen, anyone who has ears! 

You and I must listen to Jesus, listen to his Word. Pooe Francis has often  given the same advice about listening to Jesus Word.

‘It is a good practice to pick up the Gospel every day … it is the only way to know Jesus, to know what he did, what he said. … Each day read a passage of the Gospel, a small one — three, four, five minutes. … This is the seed. It is the Holy Spirit who makes the seed sprout and grow’. (Morning Homily, Monday, 9 January 2017) 

Today each of us could ask: 

Have I got ‘three, four, five minutes’ each day to listen to Jesus Word and let it penetrate me, sprout and grow in me?
Three, four or five minutes each day …