In the Sower's Hands

July 20, 2021   Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 396)

Reading I   Ex 14:21—15:1
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the children of Israel marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the LORD told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea,
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers.”
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back,
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh’s whole army
that had followed the children of Israel into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the children of Israel had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians,
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD:

I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

Responsorial Psalm   Exodus 15:8-9, 10 and 12, 17
R. (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
At the breath of your anger the waters piled up,
the flowing waters stood like a mound,
the flood waters congealed in the midst of the sea.
The enemy boasted, “I will pursue and overtake them;
I will divide the spoils and have my fill of them;
I will draw my sword; my hand shall despoil them!”
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
When your wind blew, the sea covered them;
like lead they sank in the mighty waters.
When you stretched out your right hand, the earth swallowed them!
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
And you brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, O LORD, which your hands established.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

Alleluia   Jn 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   Mt 12:46-50
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

By Claudia Rodriguez 

As I read today's reading of the Parable of the Sower, I can’t help but see myself as each kind of soil in different parts of my life.

Most recently I feel like the soil with thorns when it comes to my relationships with others. Time after time I have let the thorns of insecurity choke out the beauty of some of the most treasured friendships I’ve had the privilege to be a part of in the impatience of bearing fruit out of season.

There are times when the Lord speaks words into my life and in my impatience I start to spring into action unprepared for the word that is being poured into me. Anything that springs forward is burned and scourged because it can’t root.

Choked in my desperation to act out of season.

Why? Why is this where I find myself I ask Abba with sincerity. His response is in the word preparation. St. Ignatius writes of the importance of preparing before entering into moments of prayer with the Lord and that it is a part of my prayer life I cannot ignore. But the preparation doesn’t happen by my own hand.  I am prepared by the sower’s hands.

This Gospel passage is showing me that it is Jesus the Sower who, with his hands, wants and is the one who prepares my whole body and soul to receive God’s word.

There is no substitute for this moment of preparation.

It also calls for my cooperation and an openness for God’s word to take root.  And what I can clearly and beautifully see in today’s Gospel is that there is hope. Jesus the faithful sower will never stop pouring his word on me - regardless of whether it takes root or not. He loves me that much and will never give up on me.

Even more beautiful is that there are parts of my life where his word is flourishing. I have hope that his word will restore even those parts of my life that have been choked and scourged away. God tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

That he loved me into existence.

Those words are taking root and they are changing everything. I am becoming a fruitful garden of elevation, peace, joy, courage, and love.

In the end it is Jesus’ hands that tend to the rockiness of my heart so that it can bloom love.


Claudia Rodriguez loves her family and friends. She is known for loving to bring people together so they can connect with one another. Having one on one's is one of her favorite ways of spending her time. She loves coffee shops, books, reading her poetry and being a volunteer editor for Chastity Project. It is good to know that if you give her a good cup of blended dirty chai lavender latte she will love you forever. She loves volunteering for her parish and going out with friends after. In the past, she has worked as an English teacher and in ministry and is currently rediscovering her passions and learning to dream again. The Lord is her Shepherd.

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