(II Samuel 7:4-11; Mark 4:1-20)
The La Salette Fathers of Attleboro, Massachusetts, called a building on their premises “Mark IV.” The peculiar name did not refer to a man but to the Gospel of Mark. The “IV” had to do with the gospel’s fourth chapter where Jesus preaches in parables. It is from this page that today’s passage is taken.
Jesus uses parables to reveal God’s kingdom or, perhaps better, His goodness. In today’s parable he says that the sower casts the seeds with great prodigality – a sign of generosity. He compares the different places where the seed falls to people of different character. But his point is that despite the loss of some seed, it still produces an abundant harvest. He is telling his listeners that if they open themselves to God, He will produce in them wonderful results.
We are tempted to see this parable as exclusively analyzing people’s faults – weakness, shallowness, and worldliness. We are wise to be wary of such traits in ourselves. But to overcome their effect on us we should concentrate on God’s unrelenting love. It is so wonderful that we cannot help but respond in kind to others.