15th Sun A
Sunday 16th July 2017

Image supplied by Sr Kym Harris

The Gospel Paraphrased

There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available.  This paraphrase is not meant to replace them.  Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.

This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased

Mt 13:1-23

Jesus went out of the house, down to the lakeside, but many people pressed around him. He got into a boat and pushed out a little from shore so that the people stood around him on the beach and he told them many riddle-stories.
He said:
‘Imagine a farmer going out on a brisk spring morning. The clear cold air filling him with vigour, he casts out the seed, wide and generous across his paddocks and beyond! Some seed fell on the footpath, and the sharp–eyed birds quickly gobbled them up. Some fell amongst the rocks. There, warmed by the rock and the little dew that had fallen, they sprouted quickly, but as the sun grew hot, they had no root to draw on and they shrivelled and died. Some seed fell amongst the weeds. The broad flat leaves of those weeds stifled the seed and, getting no sunlight, it failed to thrive. But some seed fell on good soil, it sprouted and what a yield it gave! It was almost beyond belief – thirty-, sixty-, even a hundred-fold – incredible! Listen, anyone who has ears!’
The disciples then approached Jesus, ‘Why do you talk like this to people, in these riddle-stories?’ ‘Because they reveal whether the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are alive in them. You understand and “get it” but for the people who fail to understand, they know less and less and even become confused. The reason I talk in riddle-stories is to make them realise how much they fail to understand. They are obtuse and need to know it. Look Isaiah spoke about people like this:
“They listen over and over again, but still don’t get it,
They go over and over it and still don’t get the point.
Because their heart has grown coarse,
they don’t pick up on what is happening,
they shut their eyes to what they don’t like,
because if they heard what was really happening,
saw what was in front of them,
it would require them to be converted,
to change their life radically
and be healed by me.’

‘But for you – you are blest because you have the insight to see, the understanding to hear. Do you realise how the greatest people of the past longed to see and hear all this, yet they never saw or heard what you are experiencing?

‘So now, this is what the riddle story of the sower is about. The seeds on the path are like people who hear the word of God and because they take no time to try and understand it, they get distracted. The evil one then easily influences them with other things. The seed that fell amongst the rocks are like people who received the word and let it take root, but difficulties quickly came – they had to confront their own personal failures, or they were persecuted for their beliefs – and they found it too hard and gave up. The seed that fell amongst the thorns are like people too secure in the ways of this world. Wealth, riches, the need for security, all stifle the need and hunger for God. They may speak of the word but it makes no difference to their lives. But, ah, the seed that falls in rich soil gives an extraordinary yield. These people yield a harvest far beyond anything they could imagine – a hundredfold, or even sixty, or even thirty.’