The good ground for God’s word

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WHEN Christ explained the parable of the sower and the seed (cfr. Mt 13,18-23), the obvious conclusion that we can make is that we should be the good ground to receive the seed of God’s word so that that seed can grow well and be fruitful.

For us to be the good ground for God’s word, we should try to do something about those cases mentioned in the parable where the seed just got wasted. The first case was that of the seed sown merely on the path. It meant that the word of God was not understood well due to lack of study.

We obviously are expected to study the word of God well so that we can have some working understanding of it. God’s word obviously contains mysteries and supernatural truths that are beyond our usual human powers to understand. So, in studying God’s word, we should first of all and always be guided by faith more than anything else.

Faith is that act of accepting something as true not so much because we fully understand it as because it is told to us by someone whom we trust and believe to be telling us only the truth. It is with this faith that we can start the progressive process of understanding things that are spiritual and supernatural. Faith actually involves us in something like an adventure of new discoveries.

In the parable’s second case of how we can fail in properly receiving God’s word, we are told about the seed that was sown on rocky ground. Christ explained that this was the case of the word of God that did not take root because it remained only on the surface. Thus, when some tribulations come, that word would easily lose its effect on us.

This second case simply tells us that we should truly internalize God’s word, making it as much as possible as flesh of our flesh, the very soul of our thoughts and desires. That way, whatever happens to us, we would know what to do since God’s word provides us with all the means to tackle whatever situation we may have in life.

In the parable’s third case which was about the seed that fell on thorns, we are warned against being unduly affected by the things of this world, both their charms and the anxieties that they may cause.

It’s important that for God’s word to have a good effect on us, we should practice a certain healthy detachment from the things of this world even as we immerse ourselves in them, given the fact we have been placed in the world to be tested if through these things of the world, we choose to be with God or simply to be on our own.

It’s a very tricky test that we should be prepared to handle properly. To achieve that ideal preparation, we really need to enliven our spiritual life through many practices of piety, a vibrant spirit of sacrifice and detachment, recourse to the sacraments, waging continuing spiritual warfare and development of virtues, availing of a lifelong plan of formation, etc.

Only in this way can we aspire to be the good ground for God’s word to be effective in us, producing a lot of fruits of sanctity and apostolate, and effectively leading us to our ultimate goal of being the true image and likeness of God, sharers of no less than his divine life and nature!