FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
PARABLE OF THE SOWER
January 24, 2018
Today’s gospel: Mark 4:1-20
Our task as Christians is to sow the word. “The sower sows the word.” (v.14). Sowing the word is proclaiming the gospel of salvation in Jesus. Proclamation enables people to hear the gospel. Note that in this parable, all 4 kinds of people (on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, on rich soil) hear the word. God wants all to hear the word, so that they can have the opportunity to respond accordingly.
Now for those who hear, responses will be different.
There are those on the path. “As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.” (v.15b). These are those under the dominion of Satan. They hear the word but reject or do not accept it. Their minds and hearts are closed to the gospel.
There are those on rocky ground. They, “when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” (v.16b-17). These are those who hear and believe, but do not take the steps to enter more deeply into a life in Christ and grow into maturity. They only like the “good news” of blessings but fall away when challenges come, including oppression and suffering. They are unwilling to embrace the cross of Christ.
There are those among thorns. “They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.” (v.18b-19). These are those attracted to the allures of the world. They cannot let go of worldly pleasures. They are out for power, position and possessions. They choose to serve mammon rather than God. Thus they are unable to bear fruit for the Kingdom.
There are those on rich soil. They “are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” (v.20). They are those who meet Christ, live Christ and share Christ.
We are to do the work of evangelization. First we proclaim the gospel so that people will meet Christ. Then we provide formation so that they will live Christ. Then we recruit them as workers so that they will share Christ. Let us pray that the word we proclaim will always land on good soil.
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