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Sowing The Seeds Of Faith

Unlike any other parable in the Bible, Jesus generously explained about the parable of the sower. 

Aside from the "given" lesson, Fr. Albert Poblete shared "the other side of the coin" - a beautiful reflection on this gospel - during his homily at the noon mass. But let me share the reading first. :) 

Gospel Reading (taken from Mark 4:1-20): 

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake, but such a large crowd gathered about him that he got into a boat and sat in it on the lake while the crowd stood on the shore. He taught them many things through stories and parables. In his teaching, he said, "Listen! The sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some of the seed fell along a path and the birds came and ate it up. Some of the seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil; it sprang up immediately because it had no depth; but when the sun rose and burned it, it withered because it had no roots. Other seed fell among thorn-bushes and the thorns grew and choked it, so it didn't produce any grain. But some seed fell on good soil, grew and increased and yielded grain; some produced thirty times as much, others sixty and others one hundred times as much." And Jesus added, "Listen then, if you have ears."

When the crowd went away, some who were around him with the Twelve asked about the parables. 

He answered them, "They mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But for those outside, everything comes in parables, so that the more they see, they don't perceive; the more they hear, they don't understand; otherwise they would be converted and pardoned."

Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you be able to understand any of the parables? 

What the sower is sowing is the Word. Those along the path where the seed fell are people who hear the Word, but as soon as they do, Satan comes and takes away the Word that was sown in them. 

Other people received the word like rocky ground. As soon as they hear the Word, they accept it with joy, but they have no roots so it lasts only a little while. No sooner does trouble or persecution come because of the Word, than they fall. 

Others receive the seed as among thorns. After they hear the Word, they are caught up in the worries of life, false hopes of riches and other desires. All these come in and choke the Word so that finally it produces nothing. 

And there are others who receive the Word as good soil. They hear the Word, take it to heart and produce: some thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred times as much." 

During Baptism, we share in the Kingly, Priestly, and Prophetic mission of Jesus. Thus, we are also sowers. As such, there are two extremes that we should watch out for:

1. Messianic Complex aka Megalomaniac. Yes, we share in the mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of God, but we're no Jesus! By ourselves we cannot change people, much less the world. So stop thinking that the world depends on us. We're meant to do something, but not everything. We are not just the only persons who can do it. We're not better than the rest.

I believe one helpful mantra to counter this attitude is Deuteronomy 31:8. "The Lord goes before me." I do not bring Christ to my mission area. He is already there even before I came. I just need to make Him known, to make Him loved.

And when everything went well according to plan, if the community flourished, if it was a "mission accomplished with flying colors," remind yourself again, "It is not about me nor it is because of me. It is God's."

Fr. Albert said it beautifully: "The only thing we can call our own is our sinfulness and our weaknesses. The rest belongs to God - all glory, all honor, all power."

2. "I Can't Do It" Syndrome. The opposite of the first. Extremely low self-esteem probably because of guilt or feeling of unworthiness.

But we must remember that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called. We just have to say yes to God's invitation and special call to work for and with Him. We must also keep in mind that each of us has a unique gift which we need to develop, to nurture, and to prosper in order that we may glorify God.

In the end, the measure of a true servant of the Lord is his/her ability to say with all humility, "I am a useless servant. I have done what I was tasked to do." 

Start sowing seeds of faith. Right here. Right now. :)

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