As Christians we know the parable of the sower so well, however although we have heard it so many times, we can’t hear it again without being stirred. Jesus tells His disciples that the seed is the word of the Kingdom; that is, His own word, His own witness, ultimately Himself. We want to receive this Word.
Yet how well we know that we are not the perfect soil we should be! How easily we allow our hearts to become messed up by our resentments, attachments, worries or temptations, so that the hoped-for fruits of holiness are not produced as they could be!
Then also we reflect on how Jesus casts His seed in us, in order that we might continue His work in the world. So the parable of the sower is also a call to the Church, to all of us, to evangelise! Our calling is to find ways to proclaim Jesus in our own times. To communicate to people our own faith experience, itself a gift from the Holy Spirit that God exists; that He is good; that He has come to us in Jesus Christ, in order to forgive our sins, and to draw us to Himself; to give us eternal life.
One of the most effective ways we have of nurturing the seeds of the Kingdom is by coming to Mass. Here amid the assembly of the faithful we worship God in the power of the Holy Spirit. We listen to His word in Holy Scripture; we receive the sacrifice of our salvation, and meet Jesus Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. So today once again we surrender to the Lord and ask for the grace we need to connect with Him and to hear, truly see Him and understand, so that we can be enfolded by Him, and healed.
The parable of the sower challenges us to see how deeply the word of God takes root in our lives and in our day to day existence. Christ invites His followers to embrace the faith of the sower: to trust and believe that our simplest acts of kindness and forgiveness, our humble offer of help to anyone in need, our giving of only a few minutes to listen to someone’s difficult situation may be the seeds that fall “on good soil” and yield an abundant harvest.
Jesus challenges us in the parable of the sower to be both sower and seed: to sow seeds of encouragement, joy and reconciliation regardless of the ground on which it is scattered, and to imitate the seed’s total giving of life that becomes the harvest of Gospel justice and mercy. Each of us has many gifts and talents. Let us spend these doing the will of God and becoming more Christ-like. The opportunity is calling us. The parables of Jesus enlighten us if we approach them with an open mind and heart, ready to let them challenge and inspire us.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.