The Sower, Jean-François Millet, painted 1850
Readings (New American Bible version, used in the Philippines and the USA)
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23 or 13:1-9 (Jerusalem Bible version, used in Australia, England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland)
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.
For the heart of this nation has grown coarse,
their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes,
for fear they should see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and be converted
and be healed by me.
'But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.
'You, therefore, are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.']
Soiscéal: Matha 13:1-23 ó 13:1-9 (Gaeilge, Irish)
Tháinig Íosa amach as an teach an lá sin agus chuaigh ina shuí cois na farraige, agus tháinig sluaite chomh mór sin le chéile ag triall air go ndeachaigh sé isteach i mbád agus gur shuigh inti, agus an slua go léir ina seasamh ar an gcladach. Agus rinne sé mórán cainte leo i bparabail.
Dúirt: “Chuaigh an síoladóir amach ag cur an tsíl. Agus sa síolchur dó, thit cuid den ghrán le hais an bhóthair, agus tháinig an éanlaith á ithe suas. Thit cuid eile de ar na creaga, áit nach raibh mórán ithreach ann dó, agus nuair nach raibh an ithir dhomhain aige, d’eascair sé gan mhoill. Ar éirí don ghrian, áfach, loisceadh é, agus d’fheoigh sé de cheal fréimhe. Cuid eile fós de, thit sé i measc an deilgnigh, agus d’fhás an deilgneach aníos agus phlúch é. Ach bhí cuid eile de a thit ar an talamh maith agus thug sé toradh uaidh, toradh faoi chéad in áit, faoi sheasca in áit eile, faoi thríocha in áit eile. An té a bhfuil cluasa air, éisteadh sé!”
[Tháinig na deisceabail chuige á rá: “Cén fáth ar i bparabail atá tú ag caint leo?” Dúirt sé leo á bhfreagairt: “Is é fáth é, mar tá sé tugtha daoibhse eolas a bheith agaibh ar rúndiamhra ríocht na bhflaitheas, ach níl sé tugtha dóibh siúd. Óir, duine ar bith a mbíonn ní aige, tabharfar dó agus beidh fuílleach aige; ach duine ar bith a bhíonn gan ní, fiú amháin a mbíonn aige bainfear de é. Agus sin é an fáth a bhfuilim ag caint i bparabail leo, mar feiceann siad gan feiceáil agus cluineann siad gan cloisteáil agus gan tuiscint. Agus sin mar atá á comhlíonadh iontu an tairngreacht a rinne Íseáia:
‘Beidh sibh ag cloisteáil go deimhin ach ní thuigfidh sibh,
beidh sibh ag breathnú go deimhin, ach ní fheicfidh sibh,
óir chuaigh croí an phobail seo chun raimhre,
d’éist siad le cluasa bodhránta,
d’iaigh siad a súile,
d’eagla go mbeadh radharc na súl acu,
ná clos na gcluas,
ná tuiscint an chroí,
agus go n-iompóidís agus go leigheasfainn iad.’ “
Ach is méanar do bhur súilese mar go bhfeiceann said agus do bhur gcluasa mar go n-éisteann siad. Deirim libh go fírinneach, b’é ba mhian le mórán fáithe agus fíréan na nithe a fheiceáil a fheiceann sibhse agus ní fhaca siad iad, agus na nithe a chloisteáil a chluineann sibhse agus níor chuala siad iad.”
“Sibhse mar sin, éistigí le parabal an tsíoladóra. Duine ar bith a chluineann briathar na ríochta agus nach dtuigeann é, tagann Fear an Oilc agus sciobann sé leis an ní a cuireadh ina chroí: agus sin é an duine a ghlac an síol le hais an bhóthair. An duine a ghlac an síol ar na creaga, sin é an duine a chluineann an briathar agus a ghabhann chuige le háthas é láithreach, ach ní bhíonn fréamh aige ann féin, ach é neamhbhuan; an túisce is a thagann trioblóid nó géarleanúint mar gheall ar an mbriathar, cliseann air. An duine a ghlac an síol sa deilgneach, sin é an duine a chluineann an briathar, ach go mbíonn cúram an tsaoil agus mealladh an tsaibhris ag plúchadh an bhriathair agus fágtar gan toradh a thabhairt é. Ach an duine a ghlac an síol ar an talamh maith, sin é an duine a chluineann an briathar agus a thuigeann é; agus tugann sé sin toradh uaidh gan teip, faoi chéad nó faoi sheasca, nó faoi thríocha de réir mar a bhíonn.”]
Qui mandúcat meam carnem et bibit meum sánguinem, in me manet et ego in eo, dicit Dóminus (John 6:57). Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (In some translations the reference is John 6:56).
Someone I knew well was deeply hurt by her father-in-law, then recently widowed, early on in her marriage and wouldn’t speak to him for about 14 years. She allowed him to visit her home in his latter years and was polite to him. But the hurt and anger remained even after he died, to the extent that she still refused to speak to her husband’s relatives, who had nothing to do with the original hurt and who had no hard feelings whatever towards her.
One afternoon she was having a cup of tea with her adult son who brought up the subject, with some trepidation because on previous occasions she had reacted angrily. This time she was pensive and recalled what her own father, long since deceased, had said to her many years before: ‘Never hold a grudge against anyone’. As if she was hearing these words for the first time, she let go of her anger and hurt and shortly after visited her husband’s relatives whom she counted among her dearest friends for the rest of her life.
‘Imagine a sower going out to sow . . . Listen, anyone who has ears!’ (JB)
‘Chuaigh an síoladóir amach ag cur an tsíl . . . an té a bhfuil cluasa air, éisteadh sé!’