Dear friends, it is a known fact that Jesus is a great teacher, and he uses different methods in putting across his message of salvation to his followers. Today he uses the parable of the Sower in the gospel to teach his audience the secret ministries of his kingdom. He narrates the action of the Sower and the aftermath of the seeds. He makes it clear that the Sower is God himself while the soil represents the different human hearts. That is to say that the parable demonstrates how the word of God is accepted by different people and what they make out of it.
Teaching and Class Performance
An African adage has it that by the way of washing of hands, you will know the child that would feed well. The parable of Jesus is like what happens in the classroom. From the first day of class, the teacher would begin to handle the students at the same time. Some will pay serious attention and would be doing very well at test. Some will come out with first class; some others will come out with second class while there will be some that will be comfortable with third class and even failure.
The foundation is laid at the same time, but it bears fruit differently depending on individual disposition and acceptance. I knew a friend in my early days in school who refused to join the class. His parents would bring him to school, and he ran back home even before they could return. He was never disposed to go to school. Today, he lives in poverty of knowledge. This is simply because he was not disposed to lay a good academic foundation for himself. The same is also true of the word of God. We hear it often at the same time and some will make good use of it while others will miss the opportunity due to the obstacles they have created for themselves.
Barriers to the Word of God
There are a lot of barriers to the word of God as you can see from the parable. The foremost among them is that of time and non-commitment of some Christians. They claim to struggle with time for God, but they have time for other things including the social media where we spend most of our time these days. They always receive the word of God with joy but do not give it time. Their names are in the register of the Church, but they don’t practice. They represent the seed that fell in the pathway. The message is lost as soon as they receive it because they are not committed to doing it. We need to reflect if time is our obstacle in practicing the word.
Another obstacle to the word of God is that of the will power to put into practice what we have heard. Some Christians struggle with this. They are delighted to hear the word of God and sometimes make plans to carry it out but lack the strong will. Procrastination occurs until the enthusiasm of the message in their hearts disappears. They represent the seeds that fell on the stone and wither away because they do not allow the word of God to have root in them.
That notwithstanding, there are many Christians who suffer the major obstacle of wealth and worries of the world. They always receive the word of God with joy, but materialism puts them off. They prefer to build earthly security around themselves and have wealth as their God because the love of having increases by having. Work comes before their faith. They work every day and use Sunday, the day of worship for sleeping and resting. They only attend masses on Christmas, Easter etc. Some of them wait for retirement to be close to God which sometimes, do not happen. They receive the word of God and postpone its practice. They are choked to practice like the seed that fell on thorns. The quest for materialism is ruining them.
Fruit Bearers of the Word
Another set of Christians are the ‘fruit bearers of the word’. They are like every other person but not to the detriment of their faith. These people put their faith and God first before any other thing irrespective of every challenge of life. They are really committed, and they are bearing fruit.
This is where God expects us to fall. He does not want us to separate our spirituality from other aspects of our life and profession. God wants us to love him above everything. And that love is what keeps us safe and makes us bear fruit in abundance. Let us therefore be always disposed to hear the word of God and put it into practice, bearing fruit that will last.
Peace be with you.