Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
We should note the apparent carelessness of the sower in Jesus’ parable. He scatters the seed indiscriminately in the soil, on the roadside, among rocks, and among thorns. “Why is he so wasteful?” we might ask. A good farmer would take better aim, but Jesus wants to make a point. The sower is a symbol for God who deals out blessings on both the bad and good. Not only those who love Him have life, liberty, the warmth of the sun, and the taste of honey. Every human person to some degree experiences both these joys and more. What distinguishes the good from others is the response to God’s goodness.
After telling the parable, Jesus receives a group of people inquiring about its meaning. Note that the group is not composed solely of disciples. The inquirers are the seekers of the world who delve into the meaning of God’s beneficence. They include disciples, whom we can understand as members of the Church, and others as well. Effectively they are asking, “Why is God so good?” They accept life as a gift to be appreciated and in some way returned to the Giver. Those who do not come forward take the gift of life for granted. Jesus likens them to the seed eaten up by the birds before it has a chance to sprout.
But not all those who inquire about the gift will realize the fullness of its potential. They have to respond on a deeper level than inquiry by giving of themselves. For some self-sacrifice is asking too much – the seed that falls on rocky ground. Others become side-tracked in their response to God’s love. They mistake creation for the Creator, giving too much attention to the former and precious little to the latter. They are the seed that falls among thorns.
But some seed produces abundant fruit. These are the people who not only enjoy God’s creation but who respond generously to it by pleasing God with gracious deeds on behalf of others. They include both Christians and non-Christians although the former have the obvious advantage of hearing Jesus’ parable constantly.