A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where to spread

The parables of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are interpreted in many ways. Often, they are understood as allegory. Our Lord Himself provides just such an interpretation for the Parable of the Sower in today’s Gospel (Mark 4:1-20).

But there is another way of understanding parables, a way that our Lord would have not needed to explain to those who heard Him. Every parable features at least one point that would strike the listener in that time and place as odd, as being different from the usual way of things. Considering this oddity is a way to understand an important message of the parable.

What is odd in the Parable of the Sower? The oddest aspect of the parable is the behavior of the Sower. Very few farmers in those days could afford to be wasteful, so when they went out to sow, they sowed the seed in the field – not on paths, not in the rocks, not into thorns – in the field.

But that is exactly the way God works, but in His infinite and merciful plan it is not wasteful. God gives His Word and plants the seeds of faith everywhere, not just among the “good” people: people raised in religious households, etc. As St. Paul says, God wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Of course, it doesn’t always work out, people chose to go other directions, but still God gives the grace they would need to come to Him.

So too we must be in our living and sharing the Gospel of Christ. We can and should exercise a certain amount of prudence, but we should always remember that we have been commanded to “preach the Gospel to every creature.” The Word of God and the Truth of Jesus Christ must ultimately be spread freely and universally.

Finite human beings that we are, we may not always see where all the “good soil” is: the people who we ourselves may not recognize as people who will embrace the Truth and produce grace-filled results beyond our wildest expectations.

Spread the Word!

(adapted from an earlier post)