Parable of the Sower
Today we hear the well-known Parable of the Sower in the Gospel. God created us with free will and we are all free to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation. But all the time there are outside influences trying to get us to choose what is bad for us.
Satan is represented here by the birds that eat the seed of the path. Satan and his legions are always trying to tempt us to disobey God’s commandments. “Oh go on. It’s nothing. God won’t mind. It’s not that serious. After all, you can always go to Confession after!” But will you get that opportunity to confess? “Oh, but you don’t need to go to Confession. Just go to God direct. Confess to a priest? That’s just medieval superstition!” The evil one uses these subtle temptations to break our relationship with our Heavenly Father who loves us, and who desires nothing more than our eternal salvation.
Then there is the rocky soil. Often God asks us to make a sacrifice and carry our cross. But our desire for the comforts and pleasures of life cause us to resist and opt for the comfortable option.
The soil that fell among the thorns represents the culture we live in. This fallen world promises us all sorts of pleasures, but they will never satisfy us because we are made for God alone, and only He can satisfy us. That’s why when we get something we have always wanted we will soon after desire something else. It’s only when we follow God’s Will that we will be satisfied. St Augustine famously said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”
So, we have to cooperate with God’s grace. There is a school of thought that says that we human beings are not free to change our lives because everything is controlled by instinct or other forces beyond our control. This is not true. God is ultimately in charge of everything, but we do have free will, and the choices we make can have a lasting effect on ourselves and others. This parable teaches us that that while God offers the gift of faith to everyone, people respond to it in many different ways. Some will ignore it or reject it altogether while others will accept it only in a half-hearted manner. Some though will take it to heart and make it bear much spiritual fruit. Only the last group is truly pleasing to God, and only they have the assurance of the Kingdom of Heaven. So let us give God the chance to bear a rich fruit in our lives. The wonders He can produce in us when we cooperate with His grace are truly amazing! Let us pray that we will recognise these gifts and opportunities when they are offered so that we can truly make a difference in the world.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC