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The Sower, The Seed and The Soil

A familiar interpretation of this well known parable of the sower is to view Jesus as the sower, his message as the seed and ourselves as the soil. It calls us to be as prepared as possible to receive his message so that it grows within us, takes firm root and is not choked off by the distractions and temptations of life.

Like all good parables there are different ways of looking at it depending on your standpoint. We can also see ourselves in this as both seed and sower at different times. If we allow the Gospel message to grow within us and to shape the way we live we will, through our actions and words, act as seeds. We will plant the Good News in others as our lives cross, living out our baptismal promises and the call to “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord”. Of course not everyone we encounter will take the message to heart and bear fruit, occasionally the seed falls on stony ground and we may need to think about how we act as a sower. There is more than one way to sow seed, any gardener will know, and as Jethro Tull (the 18th century inventor not the rock group) showed broadcasting seed is not always the best method. His seed drill which placed seeds into prepared soils revolutionised farming by vastly increasing yields. In trying to pass on the Gospel to other people sometimes we need to get to know them in person, allow the example and witness we give to open their hearts. In doing so we can prepare them for the good news to take root within them, to give it the best chance to grow. Sometimes it is about planting not sowing.

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