The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower


Reflection on the Gospel of Wednesday In The Sixteenth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:1-9


This is a wonderful parable! It draws you to introspect and search yourself, to gain clarity about your walk with God. The normal way that this parable is looked at is that the Sower is God and he is sowing his Word in human lives. We are the soil, and we can be classified into the 4 types of soil this parable speaks about.

  1. There are those who hear the Word and it goes out of the other ear (seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them).
  2. Then there are those who go through life in a daze, they are like the rocky soil, fascinated by everything that comes their way. Fascinated today, bored tomorrow.
  3. There are those whom the word pricks and they take interest in growing, but competing desires, cares and worries makes them push away from a serious relationship with God (the seed that fell among thorns).
  4. Finally there are those who make their home in the Word, and pay heed to it, thus establishing a living relationship with God (the seed that fell on good soil).

But for me this parable was a little disconcerting. What is the effectiveness of the Word of God on the first three soils, it is almost looks like as a failure. But elsewhere in the Bible God’s Word is considered to be very powerful, always completing what it is targeted towards. Eg. – God said the word and all creation came into being. God’s word is so sharp, the Bible says that it can squeeze between and separate bone and marrow. And add to this the fact that the conventional explanation makes you think that humanity can be separated into 4 types of categories, and it is worth only to pay attention to Fourth Category (Good Soil). This does not sound correct and this is not the way that Catholicism entreats us to read the Bible. It says that for any understanding to be correct, all of the Bible and Tradition should agree with it. In Mark 1:14-15, Jesus makes it clear that he did not come to save any single group, or even let sin to become a barrier between God and us. Sinner or No Sinner, for God or not for God, Foolish or Wise, he was here for all of us.

And then I read a very good way of understanding this parable from the New Collegeville Commentary. The four soils are different stages it said, in the journey of every person in whom the word is sowed. God’s word is effective, but also mindful of an individuals limits at different stages of his life. But God’s word always reaches its potential in changing hearts; wayward and rocky, to hearts malleable in God’s hands, where the individual bears 200%-400% fruit.

Trust God, and let go. Walk with him and make all effort to come to know him better. Don’t worry about anything else, because God’s word has been planted in you, and He who has begun His work in you, will definitely complete it in you.

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