Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Jesus a Bad Farmer?

Most of us have heard the parable of the sower and the seed. Jesus said He was the sower. Does that make Him a haphazard, sloppy, farmer? Why would He be so careless as to throw seed where it has little chance of producing?

As a Protestant, I thought I was the good soil; that group over there was the wayside; that one, the rocky soil; and that one, the thorns and thistles. Now, as a Catholic, I see Christ making me the good soil by virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism; yet, due to my multitude of sins, I become the wayside sometimes, the rocky soil sometimes, and sometimes, the thorns and thistles.

In the Sacrament of Baptism, our sins are washed away; we become good soil. A farmer can plow a field, removing all the stones. The next year, when he re-plows that field, there are more stones. How do they get there? Every year, that farmer must remove stones from the same field. The same thing occurs in us. When we sin, stones show up in the soil. When we have difficulty with habitual sin, the soil becomes trodden, hardened. This is the wayside. Of course, the thorns and thistles are the cares of the world.

Our Lord tells us that the seed is the Word. When I hear Christ’s Word and have no understanding, it is because I have a hard heart. The Gospels often refer to the disciples’ unbelief and hardness of heart. I am no different. The prophet, Jeremiah, tells me, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately sick: who can know it?” Nevertheless, I erroneously often believe I have a good heart.

Why does Christ sow His Word on the wayside? It is to bring me to repentance. When I do not understand God’s Word, it is not God’s fault; it is mine—because of my sins, my hardness of heart. Very often, I do not like what God’s Word says or the doctrines and teachings of the Church; therefore, I try to twist them to conform to my likes and beliefs. When this occurs, I do not like the true Jesus and am trying to conform Him to a Jesus I like. I am trying to become the potter and trying to make Him the clay. I must allow His Word and the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church to bring me to repentance, to the Sacrament of Penance, in order that the stones, thorns, and thistles may be removed, and the hard wayside either re-plowed or hoed, softened up. I must always be comparing my thoughts and desires with Scripture and the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church. Where else can I find Truth? Where else can I turn? Jesus is Truth; hence, the Catholic Church must be Truth since it is the Body of which He is the Head. --TT