Mass Reading & Meditation for January 30, 2013
Meditation: Mark 4:1-20
3rd Week in Ordinary Time
A sower went out to sow. (Mark 4:3)
We all know that God’s ways are not our ways. But did you know that also means that his farming methods are not our farming methods?
Like any farmer, the sower in today’s parable aimed to plant at just the right time. He also wanted to sow with as little waste of seed as possible. Many farmers today use a seed drill, which meters seeds and drops them into spaced rows at a specific depth. In first-century Galilee, where plots were small, topsoil thin, and limestone near the surface, all a farmer could do was broadcast seed by hand and hope for the best. Though his scattering method may look careless to us, he was looking for the maximum yield with the minimum seed.
Our heavenly Father also plants for a bountiful harvest—up to a hundred times more than the amount of seed! But here’s the difference: he is sowing all the time. There’s no such thing as a fallow season in the kingdom of God. Growing season is lasts all year long! What’s more, this Sower isn’t sparing with his seed. Just as he makes the sun rise on the bad and the good, he flings out his seed in great, lavish sweeps on everyone, everywhere.
God is also a very optimistic farmer. St. John Chrysostom tells us that even when planting conditions are unpromising, “it is his way never to stop sowing the seed.” This doesn’t work for actual farming, Chrysostom admits. But when the terrain is human beings with free will and willingness to change, “there is such a thing as the rock becoming rich land, the trampled wayside becoming a fertile field, and the thorns being destroyed.”
And so whether you think you are good soil or bad, God is at work in your plot—in you. His kingdom is near! How is it coming to you? Through a conversation; a Scripture verse; a prodding to help a neighbor, to go to Confession, to pray with a friend, to mend a relationship, to kick a habit? Whatever word God is sending you today, welcome it, act on it, and let it change you. Because this Sower doesn’t only give the seed: he also gives the growth.
“Lord, your grace and mercy never run out. Great is your faithfulness!”
Hebrews 10:11-18; Psalm 110:1-4