Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Third Week in Ordinary Time
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.” Mark 4:3
This line begins the familiar Parable of the Sower. We are aware of the details of this parable in that the sower sows seed on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns and ultimately on good soil. The story reveals that we must strive to be like that “good soil” in that we must receive the Word of God into our souls, allowing it to be nurtured so that it may grow in abundance.
But this parable reveals something more that could easily be missed. It reveals the simple fact that the sower, in order to plant at least some seed in good and fertile soil, must act. He must act by going forth spreading seed in abundance. As he does this, he must not become disheartened if the majority of the seed he has sown fails to reach that good soil. The path, the rocky ground, and the thorny ground all are places where seed is sown but ultimately dies. Only one of the four places identified in this parable produces growth.
Jesus is the Divine Sower and His Word is the Seed. Therefore, we should realize that we are also called to act in His person by sowing the seed of His Word in our own lives. Just as He is willing to sow with the realization that not every seed will produce fruit, so also we must be ready and willing to accept this same fact.
The truth is that, very often, the labor we offer to God for the building up of His Kingdom produces little or no manifest fruit in the end. Hearts become hardened and the good we do, or the Word we share, does not grow.
One lesson we must take from this parable is that the spreading of the Gospel requires effort and commitment on our part. We must be willing to toil and labor for the Gospel despite whether or not people are willing to receive it. And we must not allow ourselves to become discouraged if the results are not what we had hoped for.
Reflect, today, upon the mission you have been given by Christ to spread His Word. Say “Yes” to that mission and then look for ways, each and every day, to sow His Word. Expect much of the effort you give to unfortunately bear little fruit in a manifest way. However, have deep hope and confidence in the fact that some of that seed will reach the soil that our Lord desires it to reach. Commit yourself to the sowing; God will worry about the rest.
Lord, I make myself available to You for the purpose of the Gospel. I promise to serve You, each and every day, and I commit to being a sower of Your divine Word. Help me not to become too focused on the results of the effort I give; rather, help me to entrust those results only to You and to Your divine providence. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saints for today – Saint Francis de Sales