— Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn,
Paul Chŏng Ha-sang and Companions —
Ordinary Time Week 24: Saturday

Saint Ephrem the Syrian
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up.” (Luke 8:5)

Saint Ephrem the Syrian offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel:

“For it fell on the edge of the path.” This is an image of the ungrateful soul, like the one who received one talent despised the goodness of him who gave it. Because this ground was tardy in receiving its seed, it became a public highway for all evil. Consequently there was no place in its ground for the Teacher to penetrate into it like a laborer, break up its hardness and sow his seed there. The Lord described the evil one in the imagery of a bird who snatches it away. He made known that the evil one does not forcefully snatch away from the heart the teaching entrusted to it. In the parable’s imagery, he revealed the voice of the gospel standing at the door of the ears like the grain of wheat on the surface of the ground that has not hidden in its womb the seed which fell upon it. The birds were not permitted to penetrate the earth in search of the seed that the earth hid under its wings.” (Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron, 11)

O God,
Who have been pleased to increase
Your adopted children in all the world,
and who made the blood of the Martyrs
Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon and his companions
a most fruitful seed of Christians,
grant that we may be defended by their help
and profit always from their example.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen