Lessons from the sower and the seed

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE parable of the sower and the seed (cfr. Mt 13,1-9) prods us to undertake the urgent and most necessary task of spreading the word of God widely and abidingly. It also urges us to be that good soil that brings good and plentiful fruit of God’s word.

Nowadays, we cannot deny that a large sector of the world is setting aside God’s word and are preferring their own ideas, theories and ideologies. The God-given nature of things is being redefined today by many people who pride themselves to know better than what God has set.

What St. Paul once said is being validated: “The time will come,” he said, “when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So, they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.…” (2 Tim 4,3-4)

We have to understand that preaching the word of God is a task entrusted to his apostles and shared by all of us in different ways. The clergy take a leading role, of course, in this affair. It’s a serious business that involves our whole being, and not just our talents and powers.

First, we need to examine our understanding and attitude toward God’s word, especially the Gospel. On this basic understanding would depend what we do with the Gospel and how we handle it.

Do we really know the true nature of the Gospel? Or do we take it as just one more book, perhaps with certain importance, but definitely not as the living word of God, in spite of its human dimensions?

The Gospel is actually the proclamation of Christ as the Emmanuel, that is, God with us. This is an on-going affair that did not stop with the death of Christ. Christ lives with us up to now, and continues to do things with us.

All these affirmations are captured in the last lines of the Gospel of St. Matthew where our Lord said:

“Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (28,19-20)

Our Catechism tells us that “We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church” (521)

Obviously, to carry out this mission, we need to know our Lord and his teachings. We have to go to him and read the Gospel. Reading and meditating on it should be a regular practice for us, a habit meant to keep us in touch with him.

Thus, every time we read the Gospel, we have to understand by our faith that we are engaging with our Lord in an actual and living way. We are listening to him, and somehow seeing him. We can use our imagination to make ourselves as one more character in any scene depicted by the Gospel.

For this, we need to look for the appropriate time and place. We have to be wary of our tendency to be dominated by a lifestyle of activism and pragmatism that would blunt our need for recollection and immersion in the life of Christ.

We need to understand that in the end, preaching the word of God involves making Christ present in us and in others. Preaching God’s word also means that we have to know those to whom we address God’s word, so we would know how to present it to them as God’s word and not just ours, and avoid getting trapped in the non-essentials.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com