On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”(Matthew 13: 1-9)
Today’s scripture is the first of seven parables that describe the Kingdom of God.
The Parable of the Sower is about the character of God, and how God reveals that character to those who recognize it. It shows how parables reflect back to us our ability to understand them.
I have heard biblical commentators’ comment on how we are the Sower. Others that we are the seed. And still others that we are the soil. A case can be built for each of them. But over the years, as I preached, I came to believe that it is all about how us as both soil and seed.
God is the Sower, scattering seed liberally, even wastefully, everywhere.
It’s what God does. It’s what God keeps on doing. God keeps throwing seeds, regardless of where the seed might land.
God is love, and love is generous, lavish, abundant, eager to share what is good. God will not withhold the Word from anyone. God will not deny anyone access to the Good News.
The Living Word has been sown within us, so we must cultivate the ground of our hearts in order to be transformed in the Lord and more fully reflect His Image and Likeness. We are called to grow in holiness and progressively reflect the risen life of Jesus Christ to the world.
The power to effect redemptive change in the world comes from the life of God within us. It is amazing how little leaven it takes to raise a loaf of bread. Those little particles of yeast have the power to ferment, to change the lump of wet dough into a loaf of aromatic, tasty, nourishing bread.
But, we have to get in the loaf.
We must be in the world – where Jesus is – in order to be used to accomplish His ongoing work of redemption. Leaven that is not used in time spoils and loses its capacity to ferment that dough; it must be active or it becomes useless.
That is why faith is a verb, it must be exercised. By living in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world we can bring the world back to God. This missionary mindset has inspired great missionary ages in the past and brought extraordinary changes to entire cultures. It can once again! However, it begins with one person, one grain, one seed, at a time.
The seed of the kingdom, the living Word, has been planted within us. And now, we are to become the seed, the salt and the leaven for the Divine Sower who continues His redemptive mission in a world waiting to be reborn in Him. He spreads us in the field of the world to bear a harvest for the Kingdom to come.
We are invited by the Lord to live at the crossroads of the world as leaven of the new world of which the Church is a seed and sign.
I can smell the delicious aroma of hundreds of loaves of bread emerging from the oven. What a glorious God we have!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, faith in your word is the way to wisdom, and to ponder your divine plan is to grow in the truth. Open my eyes to your deeds, and my ears to the sound of your call, that I may understand your will for my life and live according to it.”
Instead of lamenting about all the things in our life that did not happen, this parable calls us to rejoice in the things that did happen—in the goals we were able to achieve, in the hopes that we were able to realize, in the relationships that still support us to this day. They are God’s gifts to us. There might be many of our hopes and dreams that did not materialize, but the ones that did are enough to provide a bountiful harvest, a rich life.