Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away.
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that
‘they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”
And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
We all have heard the Parable of the Sower from today’s gospel many times in the course of our lives. When reflecting on it, I have usually asked myself what kind of ground have I prepared to receive the seed, the word of God? This is a question well worth praying over with total honesty and truthfulness.
As I hear the parable today, however, another perspective jumps into my mind and heart. It is the perspective of the sower, the farmer. This person desperately wants the seed to flourish and bear much fruit. His livelihood depends on it. I would think such a person would be more careful than to throw the seed on the pathways, rocky ground, and where thorns are already growing.
But the sower of the word is no ordinary farmer. It is God who sows his word in the hearts of all people. This is God who desperately wants us to respond to his invitation of love with love in return. He is rooting for us with wild abandon. Even when we have not done a good job of preparing the ground for his presence in our lives, he is sowing the seeds with hope that his grace and love will touch our hearts. How lucky are we that God will spare no expense, will sow seeds at all times and in all places to let us know his love for us.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord, we claim the assurance that you desperately want us to respond to your personal invitation of love. Let us be mindful of opportunities so easy to pass over that will help us prepare the ground for your presence in our lives. We trust that you are sowing the seeds that will lead us to abundance.
How lucky are we that you spare no expense to sow seeds at all times and in all places to remind us of your very real presence. We count on you in the questions we face, the decision we must make, in the people relying on us, and in those uncertainties tugging at our spirit.—The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!