“Hear the parable of the sower…” There are two ways to hear Jesus’ parable: 1.) the parable tells us something about Jesus, and 2.) the parable tells us something about ourselves. The parable tells us what kind of Sower Jesus is. He sows God’s word, God’s love and compassion here, there, and everywhere. He preaches in the Temple, in the synagogues, in boats, on mountains and in the open field. He sows God’s love among saints and sinners, among religious leaders and teachers and among the outcasts of society, the lepers, tax collectors and sinners. Jesus is a seemingly prodigal or wasteful sower, sowing on good soil, and on rocky soil. As the Son of God Jesus incarnates the prodigal or rich love and mercy of God.
The parable also tells us something about ourselves. We can hear God’s word and forget it or we can allow “worldly anxiety” or the “lure of riches” to choke the word. While most of us do this at times, Jesus challenges us in today’s Gospel to hear the word and bear fruit by doing it, that is by walking in his way by trying to show this prodigal love and compassion to all we meet, especially to the outcasts of society, those who look different from me, those who speak a different language, or those who are displaced from their homeland.
Jesus’ words are challenging. As G.K. Chesterton wrote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” This Christian ideal begins not with us but with God who sows His love, compassion, and mercy in our hearts. Let us recognize that God’s love is already sown in our hearts and live off of that love.