Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The seed is the Word of God. This is the theme of our Scripture lesson for today, above all in our gospel. The Word has the power to vivify in our hearts the recognition of our need for a Savior and the motivation to hear more of the message of salvation. In our text for today, the Lord makes the comparison between the Word and the seed sown in the field. In the book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 55: 10-11), the Lord says thus: For as the rain descends from the heavens and snow, and does not return there, but fills the earth, and causes it to germinate and produce , and gives seed to him that sows, and bread to him that eats; So shall my word be that cometh out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me empty, but it shall do as I will, and it shall prosper in that which I sent it. That is to say, the Word is like the rain that enables the harvest. In both cases, the Word has the power to give life.
St. Paul tells the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 3: 6), I planted, Apollos watered: but God has given growth. We believe that the Holy Spirit is active in the preaching of the Word. However, although the preacher must be prepared for his office, power is not in the preacher, but in the Word of God.
Our Old Testament reading (Amos 8: 11-12) says, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, in whom I will send a famine to the land, not a famine of bread, nor thirst for water, but to hear the word of Jehovah. Among the trials and difficulties of this life, we need comfort only the Word of God has. If there is no preaching of the Word, there is no consolation.
The first point of the parable of the sower is that preachers must preach the Word throughout the world, which is the field of harvest for the church. No matter the variation in the fruits, they must preach the Word.
One who sowed, went out to sow his seed; And sowing, some fell by the way, and was trodden down; And the birds of the air ate it. And another fell on the stone; And born, dried up, because it had no moisture. And another part fell among the thorns; And when the thorns were born together, they drowned it. And another part fell into good soil, and when it was born, it brought forth fruit a hundredfold.
That means, in this world will always be distractions and challenges to the growth of faith. Temptations can divert us from the right path. But the Word always has the power to revive faith.
Many of you have heard of what happened with our brothers, Pedro Josť Santana and Yhonny Torres. They placed themselves in a very difficult situation. We visited them yesterday in jail with the other boys. They are all in the same cell. Looks like they have not changed their clothes. We brought them soup for their physical hunger and the Word of God for their spiritual hunger. We brought them the comfort that God still loves them and there still is the opportunity to repent and return to the right path. And under those circumstances, they paid attention.
The two learned in the catechism class the 10 Commandments, including, "Do not steal." This is the Law of God that is part of the Word of God. The civil government has the authority and responsibility to maintain that order. So they have suffered the consequences of belittling the Law of God. This is a danger to each of us and we must be prepared for the temptations and pitfalls of this world. When the world says, "This is good" and it is not good, we should not forget the Word of God.
However, for those who repent of their sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. God is with us, even in prison. St. Paul was imprisoned, not for his own fault, but for the injustice of the authorities. But, whether the authorities are just or unjust, we must respect them and suffer all because of Christ.
We read the boys in jail the story of Luke 23: 39-43. And one of the evildoers that were hanged reviled him, saying, If thou art the Christ, save thyself and us. And the other answered and rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, being in the same condemnation? And we, indeed, justly suffer; Because we received what our deeds deserved; but this one did no wrong. And he said to Jesus, Remember me when you come to your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
With the help of God, we can surpass all the trials of this life. Let's pray for our brethren, for their restoration to their families and the church. Because we are all sinners, but we all have the promise of eternal life in baptism, and in it is peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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