Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(II Samuel 7:4-17; Mark 4:1-20)
We should note the casualness of the sower in Jesus’ parable today. He scatters the seed indiscriminately -- in the soil, on the roadside, amid rocks, and among thorns. “Why is he being so wasteful?” one might ask thinking, “A careful farmer would take better aim.” But Jesus wants to demonstrate God’s generosity with his story. The sower represents God who deals out blessings on both the bad and good. Not only those who love God enjoy life, have liberty, feel sunrays, and taste honey. Every human person to some degree experiences these benefits and many others. What distinguishes the good from the bad is often the response given to God’s bounty.
After telling the parable, Jesus receives a group of people inquiring about its meaning. They include disciples, whom may be understood as members of the Church, and others. Effectively they are asking, “Why is God so good?” Those who do not come forward take life for granted. Jesus likens them to the seed eaten up by the birds before it has a chance to sprout.
But not all who make inquiry about the gift will realize its fullness. There must be a deeper response than inquiry; there must be willingness to sacrifice oneself. For some, giving of themselves is too much trouble. They are the seed that falls on rocky ground and never become rooted. Others lose sight of God by mistaking creation for the Creator. Giving all their attention to created things, they are like the plants that are strangled by thorns. Finally, some seed produces abundant fruit. They respond generously to the gift of creation by thanking God and caring for it.