Finishing my class one afternoon, a young man asked me whether I still remember him. I immediately dredged up from the names in my head to match it with his face, but my brain cell responsible for this didn’t show up. I conceded defeat.
I told him that I could not remember him anymore but I consoled him that he “looked eerily familiar.“
He shrugged it off and casually mentioned “Sir, ako po si ______.” In no time, I blurted out his first name which made me recall how he looked like the last time I saw him. If my calculations were correct, it was more than a decade ago. He has morphed into someone else far different from how he looked like, which is the culprit why I seemed to have forgotten his name.
He proudly tells me that he is now a teacher. This came as a surprise since I did not imagine that he’d end up to become one. I suspect that he did not register right away because he was neither unruly nor participative in my class. I recall that back then, he was part of the basketball varsity, but that’s about it.
His next line did not just surprise me, it also melted my heart: “I learned a lot from you.”
My brief encounter with that former student gave me some perspectives on the Gospel this Sunday.
In the parable account penned by Matthew, we are introduced to the sower who must have been uber hard-working in his task of spreading the seeds in various environments. Some of his seeds fell on a path, some on rocky ground, others along thorns, while the rest, in a rich soil.
Surely, it is a cinch to figure out that the rich soil will give an abundant yield that goes beyond our imagining. However, it is also fundamental to see how despite the other soils’ qualities, the sower still permitted that the seeds reach them; he permitted that they be wasted on them. He did not discriminate; he gave everyone equal chances.
But we know that only which is that receptive will be able to bear fruits.
In the explanation of the parables, Jesus pointed out that the seeds embody the Word of God. And truly, the Word of God has powers of its own. It does not just go beyond time, it also cuts across cultures. It surprises us to see how it flourishes despite difficult circumstances. It has a life of its own that does not just pass on ideas, but also molds one’s values.
The Word is alive inasmuch as it conveys life. It affects one’s life but in such a manner that one allows it to.