“And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.” vss. 3-4
Jesus often used parables in his teaching ministry, mainly as a way to unpack the mysteries of the kingdom of God by using examples from everyday life. His intention was to clarify, but often people found his stories confusing and difficult. Many times even his disciples missed the point. We have the same problem, sometimes because we’re not familiar with the practices of rural Galilee. In this text there is an element of carelessness in the sowing that strikes us as strange. We can’t even imagine wasting seed by throwing it on a sidewalk or among rocks. In our experience seed planting is painstaking and precise. Modern farmers use their tractors’ computers to gauge the proper depth for their sowing. But those times were different and they didn’t have modern machinery. The sower simply cast the seeds on the surface of the ground and quite naturally some fell where it couldn’t grow or produce a crop. And perhaps that’s Jesus’ point! We simply don’t know where the message of the gospel is going to take root and bear fruit. Therefore its proclamation has to be wildly extravagant or even profligate. As a result we are often disheartened in our evangelizing…particularly when it seems our energies are wasted. But sometimes the word we love bears fruit…and in those moments we are overjoyed.
Thought for the Day: Times my witness has seemingly been futile.