Many of us, myself included, have learned to avoid certain conversations with people who are “in a different camp” than we are! Last Sunday we saw how Jesus’ teaching was rejected by “the wise and learned.” In today’s Gospel, the disciples ask Jesus why he teaches using parables. Parables are stories, and who might not listen to straight talk will listen to stories, mull them over, and pass them on. This Sunday we hear the parable of the sower and the seeds that fall on different kinds of ground. Clearly Jesus is raising the question for his hearers: What kind of ground are you? Packed hard clay? Shallow? Hostile (thorny)? Or fertile? Another image in our readings this weekend is of growth, of movement from incompletion to completion. The seed of our Gospel parable produces fruit, and the one who has fertile soil will grow rich. In our Hebrew Scripture reading, God not only speaks the Word but provides what is needed so that it “achieves the end for which I sent it.” And the Epistle from Romans 8 is full of growth images: from sufferings of present time to glory revealed; from slavery to glorious freedom; from the groaning of creation and of ourselves to adoption and redemption. And so the bottom line of today’s readings: God will empower us in our journey to union with God if we in our freedom let ourselves become fertile soil, welcoming the seed, the rain and the life-giving Word.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia