CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: WORD PEDAGOGY III : THE SEED & THE SOIL CONDITION!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Jer 3: 14 – 17, Matt 13: 18 – 23.
Jesus was such a great teacher of the Word of God; He taught with a number of quite lucid methodologies and employed a number of instructional materials such as parables, short stories or anecdotes and some measured quantity of humour. There are two major kinds of parable that Jesus used; the window parables allowed you to see through and understand mysteries beyond you like the nature of heaven, example the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Lk 16: 19 -31 while the mirror parables allowed you to see yourself or your weaknesses in the images he creates, example when he talks about the parable of the owner of the vineyard and his wicked tenants, Lk 20: 9 – 19.
The parable of the sower is such a mirror parable that faces us with the ontology of the WORD itself; the seed and the soil condition of the Word of God. The Word of God is like the seed scattered by the farmer while the soil condition represents the heart condition of the hearers. The following are the possibilities;
(a) Wayside heart ; Here there is no interest, no attention and no understanding of the Word just like the seeds that fell on the wayside and the devil comes and takes the message away. Many of our SUNDAYSUNDAY MEDICINE Christians belong to this family.
(b) Superficial heart; Here there is interest but no depth, no sound catechesis, no ecclesial support system, no CROSS THEOLOGY, so when temptations and tribulations come they lose their faith or at best become fanatics. Many of our separated brethren belong here.
(c) Entangled heart; Here there is interest and deep understanding of the Word of God but the cares of this world; materialism, sexual temptations and the allurements of the flesh hold sway due to lack of mortification and discipline. The Word of God is chocked up and there is compromise or backsliding. Many priests and pastors experience this heart condition.
(d) Fruitful heart; Here there is attention, understanding, ecclesial support, human cooperation with Divine grace and self discipline. The Word of God bears fruits of the kingdom.
As teachers of the Word of God, we need to take note according to John Rose, that there are about 4 kinds of learners in the Church;
(i) Sandy learners – Quick to hear and quick to forget.
(ii) Woody learners – Slow to hear and slow to forget.
(iii) Waxy learners – Slow to hear and quick to forget.
(iv) Spongy learners – Quick to learn and slow to forget. What water does to the sponge is what the
Word of God does to them. This is the ideal soil condition for believers to grow in the Word of God. We must make effort to remain in His Word every day and be under the direction of the right Church in order to truly become His disciples, Jn 8: 31.
May God bless you today!