Three years ago, in his Angelus reflection at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict commented that Parable of the Sower was in a certain way an autobiographical passage: ‘for it reflects the very experience of Jesus, of his preaching’ In this parable we see Jesus spreading the good seed to everyone and the results are determined by the hearts and minds that accept the seed, the word of God. This parable has some very relevant points for us, especially as we enter into the New Evangelization.
Seed is for everyone
Jesus’ method of spreading the good news, sowing the seed, is not targeted in an exclusionary way, (though God started with a select people He eventually expanded to include all mankind) – He proclaims to everyone. His mission is to bring the Gospel to all of creation; how they respond is up to them but they deserve to hear it. God loves everyone, no exceptions.
Because of God’s love for us this message is never forced so it runs the risk of being rejected. However, even though many people will close their hearts to the message, or struggle and fall away, God’s love doesn’t end. Love is who God is, this can’t change or as Timothy writes ‘he cannot deny himself’ though speaking of His faithfulness it holds for His love as well. Christ will not stop loving and therefore will not stop proclaiming to those He loves – again and again and again.
This our autobiography
What Christ experienced during His earthly ministry we should expect as well. Our apostolate is to continue Christ’s mission. We should learn from our master and do the same; sow the seed everywhere, proclaim the Gospel to everyone; and we should expect the same results, varied, depending on the hearts and minds of those who hear us. We should expect nothing less as Christ tells us so many times ‘No disciple is above his teacher…’ he tells us in Matthew; and again, in John: ‘‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.’, and so our results will be the same as His.
The Parable Continues
The Parable of the Sower is our story as well and our story continues. Our lives which we have given to Christ will experience what He did and we should rejoice in that fact. We will go out into the world and introduce them to our loving brother and Lord. We will witness to the joy and peace that a life with our best friend brings. We will be a living example of Christ’s Gospel, and in doing so our lives will radiate what is missing in society today. We will sow God’s Word. What happens then is not in our control, because it is not in God’s control; though He and we will continue to love (and we will continue to pray for) the recipients. This should give us great comfort, we are not expected to change people’s hearts we don’t fail if we don’t quit sowing.