Sowing God’s Word

Luke 8: 4-15
1 Cor 15: 35-37,42-49 / Ps 56

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.
(Luke 8:8)

Come Holy Spirit as I write,
Guide this hand that Your Word be told;
Dispel the darkness, be my light,
Let this bear fruit a hundredfold.

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, He told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When He said this, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” His disciples asked Him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ” ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:4-15)

Reflection

Our Lord’s parable of the sower was a lesson about hearing the Word of God, and being able to understand His message of salvation. Jesus clearly demonstrated in this parable that only a few would be transformed by the Gospel, for the following reasons: 1) Some seed fell along the path, trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Many listeners were not interested. His message fell on deaf ears; they were just curious to see the wonders He was performing, but they were not too keen on trying to understand His words. 2) Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Those who did hear and were moved by His words stayed on to learn more. But when other matters came up, especially their finances or livelihood, they lost interest and left. Their ground of interest was too thin to support any roots of commitment. 3) Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. These people heard the Word and were interested, and had the good sense to stay on. But they could not bear fruit because they still held on to their worldly concerns (and vices), and so their faith lacked the nourishment from the Holy Spirit that only the truly devoted receive.

Only the seed that fell on good soil yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. But the seed was fruitful not because of one’s eloquence or knowledge of the Scriptures, but because of the power of the Word itself. The writer of Hebrews said it clearly: “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) For a number of years now, I have been sending Gospel reflections daily to many people through the internet. I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit for sustaining the enthusiasm and inspiration to write, at times deep into the night. I do not know how many people bother to read these reflections, much less pass it on to others. Only a few take the trouble to email back their appreciation or comments. I know most of them are just too busy, but I’d like to believe that there are others who read them everyday, together with their bible, and pass on the message to many more, maybe thirty, sixty or a hundredfold.

Lord, as Your servant St. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) Help me to do my best to give a more personal perspective of Your Gospel messages, so that others may also come to believe. Amen.

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