This Sunday’s readings remind us that the state of one’s soul must be good, like good soil, with which we expect good things to grow.
In the first reading, we are reminded that if we don’t grow in holiness, it is not God’s fault, but our own, because it depends on our response to the Word of God. Jesus often used parables about land and nature because in that time, people could relate very well to the land, many having a rural background.
Sower of the Seed
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the story of the ‘sower and the seed’. The seed is the Word of God and it falls in different places.
Firstly, some seed fell on the edge of the path. This represents the person who hears the Word of God, without understanding it. The devil comes and steals away what was sown in the person’s heart. The path is hard trodden soil through regular traffic. These people tend to be hard of heart, worldly and unspiritual. They don’t guard their senses against useless and impure thoughts. They lack order, are self-centred and certainly not recollected. So, the devil, the enemy of God and man easily snatches away what was sown.
Secondly, some seed fell on rocky ground. The represents the person who receives the Word of God with joy; but has no root and lasts only for a time. This person has a tendency towards laziness and love of comfort. They are not constant and don’t make sacrifices to fulfil their resolutions that they have made. They are afraid to stand up for their Faith because of potential backlash or ostracization. They give into peer pressure and if criticized or persecuted they quickly fall away and so produce no fruit.
Thirdly, some seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked the seed. These people love riches and have a disordered ambition to gain influence and power. They have an excessive concern for well-being and are immersed in material things. They forget that they can’t take worldly wealthy with them. The hearse doesn’t pull a trailer behind it loaded with material goods. These people forget that they can’t serve God and Mammon. They often put sport or other interests before worship of God. So they remain mediocre and lukewarm.
Finally, some seed fell on good soil. This represents the person who hears the Word of God and understands it. They welcome the Word into their heart as God’s Word and start living up to it. As a result of conforming their hearts to the Word, their lives become more and more aligned to the Will of God. Due to their positive response, God gives more grace and they become holy, unlike the one who doesn’t respond, for even what he has is taken away. The person who receives the seed in good souls produces the fruits of holiness or Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, trustfulness, gentleness, self-control, goodness, modesty and chastity. They delight in prayer, such as the Holy Rosary, Adoration and Weekday Mass. They have their hearts set on the ultimate end and should they fall into some sin, they waste no time in going to Confession to get rid of any noxious weeds. Through their perseverance in living up the Word, they become more and more united to the Lord, at peace with themselves and others. They become deeply happy and holy, like the canonized Saints of old, who were the happiest of all, despite crosses and many difficulties.
God wants the very best for each of us, but because he has given us freewill, the fruits we produce does depend on our response! So let’s cherish the Holy Scriptures and through frequent contact with the Bible and knowledge of the Catechism put on the mind of Christ and desire that His Will truly reign in us! Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever!