The Sower, the Seed, the Soil

Sermon notes from 15 October 2000.   Luke 8:5-15.  The Parable of the Sower.

Seeds are not magical dust that bring about some magical change in the soil itself. The soil must itself be fertile, tilled, cleaned of weeds and rocks for the seeds to bear fruit. The seeds and soil work together (synergy) to produce growth.

It is not the sower who gives the seed growth, for he merely scatters the seed. The ability for the seed to come to fruition and bring an abundant harvest lies, at least in Christ’s parable, in the soil. So it is the intimate relationship between the seed and the soil which is critical. God has marvelously adjusted the seed and the soil which receives it to work together to bring forth the abundant harvest. God has created a marvelous world in which His Word and we who receive it work together to bring forth a wonderful harvest for God.

It is not the quantity of seeds which brings about the abundant growth either, good soil brings to fruition a few seeds as well as the many.

It is not the case that the good soil gets the most seed, for in the parable Jesus tells us that SOME seed falls on the good soil, it is the same SOME that fell on the path and on the rocky soil and among the thorns. The sower is generous to all, he does not withhold the good seed from the unproductive soil, just like God gives rain and sunshine even to the wicked.

The divine seed grows in us or remains dormant but prepared for growth. This gives each of us and the entire world great hope. No matter how bad a person appears to us, as long as that person lives, there is in him or her that seed and hope of salvation. So our parable is a parable of hope for ourselves and for the world.

And knowing that the divine seed is planted in our hearts and minds and souls, may be good reason for us to meditate on what will it take for that seed to gestate in us and produce its fruit. A good mother takes precious care of that seed growing in her. A mother often organizes her life around and in relationship to the child she bears. So we too should learn from the pregnant mother how to care for the divine seed, the Word of God, planted in each of us.

We receive the Word of God in ourselves from the father and in love are asked to bring forth the good fruit of God. Here, each Christian must be like the loving mother. Indeed the Mother of God becomes for us the very image of what each of us must be to fulfill the good promises of Christ’s parables and teachings. For Mary the Theotokos received the Word of God and it bore fruit for the salvation of the entire world. Each of us must become like her in allowing God’s Word to bear fruit in each of us. This is the feminine spirituality of the Church.

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