1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
What kind of field are you? Are you hardened like a footpath?…rocky ground?…overgrown with thorns?…or, are you good soil, fertile and productive?
As I listened to Jesus talk about the various ways that the seed of the word of God can be trampled, withered, choked off or ignored, I must confess that I couldn’t immediately decide what kind of field I am. You see, I recognized myself in the description of every sort of field. At various times of my life I have received the word of God and responded to it in all these various ways. Sometimes I hear the word of God but get so busy and involved in my own projects that the word, that seems so rich when first received, begins to fade because I am about so many distracting things. Other times, I begin to respond to the word but ultimately turn away from it, tempted by my own needs or trapped by my own fears. And, sometimes the word seems to be stolen from me by my disappointment or disillusionment with other people or situations in my life. It’s not easy to be good soil, ready to receive the word of God and persistent in nourishing it within us.
Given the realities of our inconsistent natures, the really good news in this particular parable is the way Jesus describes the sower (God). Jesus says the sower spreads the seed generously and everywhere. The sower isn’t careful, controlled, miserly or cautious with the seed. He is profligate, generous, open-handed, and extravagant. He continues to throw the seed in all directions, letting it fall where it will, confident that good soil is there right alongside the hard ground, rocks, brambles and bushes. And, the sower knows that the good soil will produce much more than the unprepared or inhospitable ground will lose.
As we reflect on this parable, we thank Jesus for telling us how God continuously reaches out to us and we ask for the gift of being receptive to God’s saving word and nourishing it within us.
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is stationed at Immaculate Conception Retreat in Chicago.