Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells the parable of the sower and the seed. For me, of the seeds which are kept from producing fruit, the ones which are most applicable to my life and my experience with others are the seeds sown on rocky soil, and the seeds sown among thorns.
I have seen people who have been thrown for a loop by some great tragedy or difficulty, and have lost hope and lost their faith. Some of them come back to their faith, realizing that God has neither punished nor forgotten them. But others do not. In my own life, I have seen where anxiety has kept me from sharing the Good News as much as I could have. So, there are obstacles to producing good fruit, but the Sower of the seed has given us grace and the Holy Spirit, and we are still able to bear fruit "a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold."
What might producing good fruit look like? I think it involves sewing some seeds ourselves. The seeds we have do not come from us, but we are called to spread them around as much as we can. These are the seeds of God’s love and mercy in Jesus Christ. They are the seeds of compassion and understanding. They are the seeds of encouragement and joy. They are the seeds of peace and justice. These are the seeds which the world needs sown now more than ever, and just as Jesus has sown good seeds in us, may we not only bear good fruit, but pass the seeds along so that others can join us, so that the fruit we have in Jesus may be multiplied over and over again!
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P. is on staff at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat and Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.