'Now the parable is this: The seed is theword of God.'
(Luke 8:11 NKJV)
For obvious reasons, at least once a week I find myself publicly meditating and sharing scripture verses. And in some ways that's what happens with this Sunday devotional as well. I often wonder if the preacher and the listener always have the awareness of Paul, that the gospel "is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). Can we believe that those ancient words that emerge from the Bible have the ability to change people, the world and to produce extraordinary fruit sooner or later? Even if we believe it, we cannot deny that there are days in which, even if seated and present with the body, we are distracted in listening, as if we were in a "stand-by" state. The Word read and preached bounces off us, leaving us indifferent, even if we must admit that sometimes the responsibilities are not all of the listener. The parable of the sower is certainly one of the best known and can well describe this reality.
The text is proposed in three Gospels (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-25 and Luke 8:4-14), and all accompany it with the Master's explanation to the disciples, and to us who can read it, since “It is given to them to know the mysteries of the kingdom”. What is no longer a mystery is that faith and belief can only be born through the word of God, the seed sown by the sower. It is by no means an understatement to affirm that we can reach faith through the seed of the word, and its sowing in our life. If for the psalmist it was the lamp to illuminate his path, for the believer it is the essential element for birth, growth and development, as they are those who "hold it in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with perseverance". Each believer has this potential also in the hands of him, who is apt to spread it in the field, along the roads and where he has the possibility.
This parable allows us to reflect on four categories of people or situations in life. One element unites them all, that is, they have had the opportunity to listen to the word, to receive the seed of faith, even if each one has his own reaction. The first are those who receive the word along the road, where it is trampled or eaten by the birds of the sky. These are the ones who are easily robbed by the devil. They could be the ones who are always in a hurry, who always arrive late to meetings and always leave early: their minutes are numbered. They devote the remainder of their time, or while trying to devote time to the Lord they get carried away by other concerns and / or plans. They must understand that this is to the detriment of their salvation. In fact, the seed of the word does not have time to reach deep and germinate, because distractions completely sweep it away. Hurry is also synonymous with superficiality. Who knows whether this meditation will allow anyone to understand that sometimes it is necessary to leave the road and place oneself within the "field of the Lord" to be cared for and planted. The purpose of preaching is precisely this, that some may come to salvation.
The second category includes those who have a rock under their surface, and it is not the rock of Jesus. They are those who always rejoice, and who are filled with happiness when listening to the word. But just as they are ready to rejoice, they fall into despair just as easily. They are those without balance, whose first storm sweeps away the faith. Their arrangement does not allow the seed to take root in depth. Then there are those who are wrapped in thorns, suffocated by the stresses of life. They too do not have deep roots, they do not really feel part of the work. They live in tangled and tangled situations, which often cause pain, because the thorns sting. For the sower these are a constant problem and taking care of them requires a lot of attention, because of the thorns that surround them. Finally, there are those of the good earth, whose heart has neither rocks nor thorns, and when the seed falls it goes down deep. They bear fruit with perseverance, because their life is not enveloped by birds, it is not entangled by solicitations, it is not distracted by anything else.
Which of these categories do you place yourself in? Remember that God's Word is sown in us, even when we are barren ground, when we are choked with worry or shallow. I believe and pray that the Word will continue to be sown with faith and determination because in everyone, even the most distracted, there is good soil, and there, sooner or later, that Word, which is powerful, will produce fruit. To you who are engaged on the front line, however, I dedicate the words of Peter Böehler: "Preach faith as long as you have it, and because you have it you will continue to preach".
Weekly Bible Reading
February 28, Numbers 17-19; Mark 6:30-56
March 01, Numbers 20-22; Mark 7:1-13
March 02, Numbers 23-25; Mark 7:14-37
March 03, Numbers 26-28; Mark 8
March 04, Numbers 29-31; Mark 9:1-29
March 05, Numbers 32-34; Mark 9:30-50
March 06, Numbers 35-36; Mark 10:1-31