Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

“The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away...” (Matthew 13:20-21.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on these verses from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Not all the Gospel writers use the same terms in reporting this parable. Matthew wrote of “the evil one,” Mark of “Satan,” and Luke of “the devil.” The phrases “by the wayside” and “in the path” are not quite the same thing. Weigh in the allusion of the statement “I am the way.” Both Matthew and Mark say, most felicitously, that the word was sowed “on stony ground,” not upon a “stone.”

Now to all that which is “by the wayside,” the words “those who do not understand” apply. But to the good ground these words apply: “This is he who hears the word and understands it.” Perhaps then those seeds that fall “on stony ground” and those that fall “among thorns” fall between the people without knowledge and those who understand. This then is an exhortation to meditate diligently upon the faculty of perception. If the seed of the one who is dense is snatched away, the seed of intellect ought to be taken up and covered in the ground of memory, so that it may spread forth roots and may not be found naked or snatched away by the spirits of wickedness.” (Fragment 291)

Show favor, O Lord, to Your servants
and mercifully increase the gifts of Your grace,
that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity,
they may be ever watchful
in keeping Your commands.
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. Amen.

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