Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
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July 10, 2020
A Reflection from the Christian Traditions:
LET YOUR STORY BE TOLD
REFLECTIONS ON THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
MATTHEW 13: 1-9
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Someone once said that life was a parable. Indeed, we all have our stories and each and every one of us is a story to be told. If we appreciate the stories of our lives as parables, we can reach out to others with understanding, empathy, and practical compassion. As we share our stories with others, we gain insight into ourselves and others.
Jesus was a master of the story. His parables were anything but simple stories. Parables challenge us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Consider the time Jesus went down to the Lake. As the crowds gathered, he mused on a certain sower scattering seed in field. It seems the sower was somewhat extravagant by our standards. Ancients scattered the seed everywhere and anywhere hoping for an abundant harvest.
As Jesus tells the story, the sower’s effort resulted in monumental failure. Sun, thorn, rock, dry land all contributed to the destruction of the seed and the failure of the harvest. Then, suddenly, Jesus concludes the parable with a surprise. The seed that fell on “good” ground yielded enough harvest to more than compensate for the failure. In terms of percentages, one quarter of the land and seed resulted in an overwhelming abundance. The sower, in the parable, is one amazing person. The courage and persistence of the sower was remarkable in the wake of the seventy-five percent failure.
Typically, the parable of the “sower” is told as the parable of “seed.” We need to remember the seed found a home in the soil because of the courage, ingenuity, creativity, and persistence of the sower.
Now is the time for us to think of all the “sowers” in our lives. We need to think about the thousands and thousands of people throughout the World who scatter the seed of their love, compassion, empathy, and encouragement in the soil of our hearts, minds, and lives. They take the chance, risking everything, for the sake of helping others.
We might pause and call to mind those “sowers” of hope we know and hear about in the course of our daily lives. Think of those who risk their lives to scatter the seed of racial justice. Think of those who scatter the seed of their professional skills in caring for the sick and dying. Think of those who scatter the seed of truth in a World sometimes overwhelmed with stereotypes, misunderstandings, and fears. Think of those who scatter the seed of their lives for the sake of others. Like the sower in our parable, they are not tempted by success or failure. They take the chance that the harvest will be abundant against all odds.
We need to go down to the Lake of the World and share a few parables hoping the seed of our courage will bless others. Let us forego the temptation to think our harvest needs to be abundant for our courage to be great and generous.
Thank you, Holy Community, for all the times you scattered the seed of yourself in the soil of another person’s need, fear, hurt, failure, or life.