Is 55:10-11; Rom 8:18-23; Mt 13:1-23
Fr Fernando Armellini SCJ
The farmer in the parable is apparently working in vain and wasting seed and energy. It is hard to believe that, in a field reduced to that state, something can sprout.
Instead, after sowing, he plows: the paths disappear, thorns and grass are removed, the stones moved and the field that seemed unproductive, after a short time, is covered first by corn stalks, then by blonde ears. A true miracle! His word gives abundant fruits because it has in itself an irresistible force of life.
All of us sometimes wonder if it’s worth proclaiming the word of God in a corrupt world in which we live; if it still makes sense to speak of the evangelical beatitudes to people who do not listen, whose heart are hardened, who think only about money, entertainment, and of what is transitory, fleeting. When these thoughts arise it is time to profess the faith in the divine power contained in the word of the gospel.
The scarcity of results does not depend neither on the seed nor the sower, but on the type of soil.
There is first of all a hardened heart, made as such—as it happens with the soil of a road—by many people who have walked on it. It represents the impenetrable heart to the word of Christ because it has assimilated the way of thinking of this world, adapted to current morality and adopted the values proposed by the people.
Then there is a variable heart that gets easily excited but after a few days, it goes back to what it was before. It is like a rock covered with a thin layer of earth: if one plants a seed, this sprouts, but immediately dries up.
There is also a restless heart that is stirred by the problems of this world. It chases success and wealth and nourishes mean dreams. These concerns are like thorns; they choke the seed of the word.
Finally there is a good heart in which the gospel produces abundant fruit.
It is not about the four categories of persons, but four interior dispositions that are found in different proportions, in every person. It is useless that the evangelist, to launch the precious seed of the word, waits to find the ideal terrain, that which is perfectly fertile. Good soil, thorns, rocks and arid soil will always be together. For the disciples, it will become a stimulus for a more abundant sowing. Many efforts will be in vain, but one day, punctually, the ear will make its appearance in every person.
Sowers, you and I
Jesus, how is the earth of my heart?
Is it a heart that knows how to love, that knows how to sacrifice itself for others? Or is it a heart of stone, hard stone, in which the needs of those around me does not make any impression?
Is it a strong heart, with the will power needed to do what I should do at each moment? Or is it a soft heart, with no personality, which lets itself be carried away by likes, by lust or comfort?
Jesus, in what kind of environment do I live?
Is it an environment in which my Christian life can grow?
What friends do I have?
How do I make use of my free time?
Sometimes my work, my friends, television, entertainment … instead of helping my Christian life grow and develop, become like thorns that smother the divine seed of grace.
“It is a vivid scene. The divine sower is also sowing his seed today. The work of salvation is still going on, and our Lord wants us to share that work. He wants Christians to open to his love all the paths of the earth. He invites us to spread the divine message, by both teaching and example, to the farthest corners of the earth. He asks us, as citizens of both ecclesial and civil society, to be other Christs by fulfilling our duties conscientiously, sanctifying our everyday work and the responsibilities of our particular walk of life” (St Josemaría, Christ is Passing By, 150)
Jesus, each day, this scene of the Gospel repeats itself: each time that a Christian, through his word and example opens a furrow in the soul of a family member or a friend, and sows there the divine seed.
You want me to be one of those sowers. You want to make use of me to reach the persons whom you have placed by my side.
Indeed, you want me to be another Christ: so that when I sanctify my professional work and the duties of my own state, I cast the seed, the message and the new life that you have given us with grace.
I am a sower when I study seriously what I need to, when I help to fix some problem at home, when I know how to forgive an annoying detail, when I smile even when tired, when I let the others choose the best dessert or the movie that we are going to watch, ….
Jesus, the parable of the sower is not a message of stone, a story for little children. It is a relevant scene.
You entrust me with bringing the seed to many more persons, even if the fruit will vary according to the dispositions, the earth of each one.
I will be a good sower if I make an effort to carry out faithfully my daily duties.