Mt 13:1-23 or 13:1-9
In one of his poems, “Putting in the Seed,” Robert Frost describes a farmer’s love affair with the earth. It’s night, and someone from the house tries to fetch him from his work to come in. Supper’s ready on the table, yet he’s a
“Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.”
Can’t you see that farmer in his fields zestfully casting seed on the waiting earth. Is he an image of God, the Sower, who casts saving grace onto the world in season and out, because he loves it so much?
Our readings today seem to suggest it. If you have ever been to Galilee and seen the lake where Jesus spoke this parable and the lands around it abundant with crops. you know this is a blessed place. I think it was in Jesus’ time too. In a place like this, the sower scatters his seed with abandon, hardly caring where it goes: on rocky ground, or amid thorns, or on the soil which gives a good return.
God the Sower sows blessed seed, no matter how badly our human world appears, or how badly it receives. And that makes us hope.
And is it just the human world God loves? Does his love extend to all the earth God finds “good,” as the Book of Genesis says. We worry about our planet earth, and with reason. How fragile our environment has become, what damage we careless humans do! We are concerned rightly for its future.
These readings tell us to hope for our earth too. Though it is not immune from the threat of destruction and degradation, God loves it still. He’s a Sower at work, who deeply loves the world he has made. Blessed be the Lord God of all creation, may you sow your blessings on all.
Fr. Victor Hoagland, CP is the Director of Passionist Press and a member of the Passionist Community in Union City, NJ.