Homily on Sowing (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman)

Homily on Sowing
St. John 4:5-42

The metaphor of agriculture.

1 (Introduction). You have to reap when the crop is ready. If it’s ready and you don’t reap it ? what happens?

  • Something ? or someone ? else will reap it (e.g. birds w/ blueberries)
  • It spoils.
  • It does not make it to the reaping floor where it can be transformed into its greatest and intended use/purpose

2. (The Word) The Samaritans were a crop that was ready for the harvest.

St. Cyril of Alexandria

The spiritual sowing indicates those who tilled beforehand by the voice of the prophets. The multitude of spiritual ears is those brought to the faith that is shown through Christ. But the harvest is white, in other words, already ripe for faith, and confirmed toward a godly life. But the sickle of the reaper is the glittering and sharp word of the apostle, cutting away the hearers from the worship according to the law and transferring them to the floor, that is, to the church of God. There, they are bruised and pressed by good works and shall be set forth as pure wheat worthy of the divine harvest.

It is important to realize that if Christ and the apostles did not reap the harvest, then these people ? and their souls – would be lost

  • Someone else will reap and gather them.
  • They will spoil (internal pride and imagination)
  • They will not be transformed from something transient and vulnerable into something greater (living bread?)

3. (Conclusion ? the Application) The world is the field of the Lord; the Church is the place where the transformation of wheat into the Living Bread occurs.

  • To speak less metaphorically,
    • The world is full of people who were made for something better. They are finite and vulnerable; and in need of something real and truly good;
    • But they were made to be immortal and powerful; and constantly sustained and strengthened by the unending source of everything good and true and real.
    • They are ready to be transformed from children of the fallen world into the immortal sons and daughters of the perfect God.
  • Their stories are all different. They are not monotheistic Samaritans as were those in today’s Gospel or pagan Hellenists like those in today’s epistle. When it comes to their world-view, some are atheists, some are agnostics, but they are full of the potential, the yearning, and the readiness to changed into something better.
    • [It should noted that not all of them are ready for the transformation: they still need tending. And there are fields that have not been sown at all.  Some sow, some tend, and some reap.]

In today’s Gospel, the Lord shows how this work is done. It is work we are called to. If we don’t do it ? if we as a parish and we as believers ? don’t give our time connecting with the Samaritans and Hellenists of our time ? then they will be lost. And us? We will have failed in the One Thing the Lord commanded us to do and we will be worse than lost.

Let us now commit ourselves to the transformation of ourselves into the children of God so that we may become the evangelists of that transformation ? the ones that plant, tend, and gather – and this parish into the place where the gathered souls are themselves transformed.
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