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The parable of the sower

Gospel Reading: Mt 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.

It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

Notice how the farmer in the parable sows the seed. This is no careful, prudent planter. Far from cautious, this farmer throws seed around with abandon. It flies in all directions and lands everywhere – on the hard path, over a rock-littered patch, into the thorn bushes, and on good, rich topsoil. In other words, the farmer in this parable is not a normal planter; he is a farmer whose methods reflect the Kingdom of heaven. He sows the seed extravagantly, as widely as he can, oblivious to the risks, much as God lavishes his mercy upon humanity. To be sure, the farmer takes some losses – birds snatch the seed off the sunbaked pathway, the sun scorches the young plants springing up in the shallows of the rocky soil, and tender sprouts are no match for the choking thorns – but never mind. Despite the wasted efforts and the squandered seed, the farmer nonetheless achieves a bumper crop – a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold. Like the work of the farmer, the Kingdom will take its share of blows and will have a series of seemingly overwhelming setbacks, but the abundant harvest is sure.
Keep on spreading the seed because the great harvest of God is assured of abundance.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.