By Fr. Frank Timar, M.S.C.
Jesus had so much He wanted to share with those who were interested. He loved to tell stories and He told them at every opportunity to make it easier for His audience to understand His message. Who could forget the story Jesus told about a farmer who planted seeds in his field. Jesus speaks about different soils and the end results of this planting. I personally like this parable because it speaks about us and how receptive we are to Jesus’ message, and whether we are listening with our hearts.
As Jesus explained the parable, we see that there is a deeper meaning than about different soils. What if this is not a parable about soils at all? Could be that this story is not about out shortfalls and failures either. Maybe, this is a parable about the farmer and the generosity of the sower, Jesus. That would change the way we identify ourselves in the story. If this is truly a story about the sower, then Jesus is telling us how God wants us to live. The sower casts the seed with wild and joyous abandon. He is confident that there will be a good harvest, even though he knows that many of the seeds will end up as food for birds. He is not so much concerned with efficiency as he is with abundance. He does not seem angry at the birds, the rocks, or even the weeds. In fact, the sower anticipates them. These are all just a part of the landscape of farming.
It sure seems like Jesus is offering this extravagant, even wasteful, generous sower as a new picture of God. Maybe so. And maybe He is suggesting that the sower could be a picture of us too. Instead of going through life counting our wealth like King Midas, and guarding and hoarding what we have been given by an extravagant God, we ought to move through life flinging our abundance to the wind, trusting the unseen hand of God to bless it where it lands. Maybe we should try living less efficiently, and more extravagantly. Maybe we could live less anxious over the bad that might happen, and live more hopefully confident with the abundance that could happen.
What would life be like if we spent less time and energy chasing our enemies away, and spent more energy feeding them? Wouldn’t this be a nice way to live? Let’s feed our enemy. Let’s live our life with abandon with the generosity of one who knows that there is plenty enough seed in us to find good soil. And we also need to remind ourselves of the enormous potential for good when even the smallest amount of good seed hits good soil. All the birds of the air, all the rocks on the ground, and all the weeds of the field cannot overwhelm the productivity of a single grain of goodness. So, how about it, let’s go for it, grab a handful of life, and watch it fly!