Hard Parable (of the Sower)

Is the Lord a poor famer? He scatters the seed of His truth all over the place. If we have ears to hear it, His Word declares to us that we have been made children of the Most High God, that we can have eternal life, that we can attain holiness. God is real, and He loves us.

The reality of God, the love of God—this truth comes to us by the faithful apostolic witness of the Church. The truth refreshes our souls. It gives our lives direction. And then it proceeds to make demands on us throughout the rest of our earthly lives.

Representation_of_the_Sower's_parableHolding fast to the Gospel, as exhilarating as it can be, can grow difficult. Not because it changes. But because, with time, we grow to understand it better. We find ways to grasp it more fully. And that can cost us.

The fact is that divine love has enemies. The parable highlights three. First, temptations by demons. The closer we get to purity of faith, the more ardently they besiege us with the knottiest challenges.

Second, fear. Let’s not beat around the bush: Believing the Gospel involves facing death squarely in the face, without fear. To believe in Christ and His victory means that if today is my day to die, then I am just as glad as I would be if it were in a hundred years.

And the third enemy of divine love that the Lord refers to in the parable: worldliness.

But, Father! We live in the world! How can we avoid being worldly? We have to eat and pay the bills. We have to have the internet and at least basic cable.

Let us be wholesome inhabitants of this beautiful earth. But God forbid that we let the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. “I have overcome the world,” He said. Did He come to the earth to overcome good things? No He came to overcome the enemies of our eternal happiness.

The world, the Super Bowl, the Beyonce lip-synching controversy, the hegemony of the United States, Google, Inc.—it will all pass away. Even Shakespeare and the fleeting beauty of the Grand Canyon will pass away.

This world is not our home; it is the place through which we pass on a journey; it is, at times, the arena of our pitched spiritual battles. It is, fundamentally, temporary.

For the seed to take root, we must see the unseeable truth and grasp the ungraspable fact: We have only one real home. And it is God. Only God.

(Published from my slick new Microsoft Surface. Please forgive typos.)

2 thoughts on “Hard Parable (of the Sower)

  1. Father Mark,

    I’m having difficulty wrapping my mind around “slick”, so I’ll just press on into today’s Gospel.

    The generosity of the Lord answers for the scattering of the seed.

    The inscrutability of the Lord has me head-scratching over the notion of “… they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand,
    in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”

    The only rationale I’ve come up with is that the time was not God’s time; it had to await the New Covenant; and the word “forgiven” is actually followed by “at this time” in God’s plan.

    God only knows.

    In Him we trust.



  2. “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him. “Master, I want to see.”

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