|The Sower - Grigory Myasoyedov (1888)|
- Genesis 25:19-34 and Psalm 119:105-112 •
- Isaiah 55:10-13 and Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13 •
- Romans 8:1-11 •
- Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Even so, the parable still has radical application. Week by week in the course of an ordinary Sunday service, the Gospel goes on being ‘sown’ among regular as well as occasional church goers, and the different ways in which it can be received – carelessly, half heartedly, seriously – are not confined to the ever expanding secular world outside the Church, but are possibilities in the heart of the sanctuary itself. Indeed, for the faithful there is an additional danger; the story’s sheer familiarity easily sustains an unspoken assumption that the Gospel has already found fertile ground in their hearts. But has it? We can set ourselves a simple test. On Monday, without recourse to the weekly bulletin, try to recall the Bible readings from the day before, and especially the Gospel reading. This simple test is not so easy to pass as one might hope. Professedly Christian minds, it may turn out, often lack any depth of soil.
|Descent of the Holy Spirit -- Jean Fouquet (1472)|