THE PARABLES AND THE SOWER PARABLE
by our Pastor, Fr. Carmelo Jimenez
Jesus used a lot of parables to explain the Kingdom of God and God the Father’s will. A parable is a way to convey hidden truths about the kingdom of God. Parables are short stories and images taken from daily life. Jesus used those stories and images constantly. A good image can convey more loudly and clearly than a lot of words. Jesus wants the disciples and apostles to understand exactly and better than the others. He explains to them the meaning of the sower parable and many other parables in private.
One day, when I had just arrived here (Sebree, Ky), Patti Gutierrez asked me to teach her how to use everyday life stories for announcing the Gospel. A few days ago I saw her blog (patticc.com) and I found a very good reflection about how to take advantage of our crises. Her family had a bad situation a few weeks ago with her little son. Patti wrote: "5 lessons for Ministry from our Recent Crisis" and with her reflection helps us to grow in our spirituality and to be faithful in any situation. I didn't teach her but I enjoyed her reflection.
Jesus used everyday life stories to teach everybody. He knew many of them didn't understand but a lot of those people opened their hearts and ears and followed him: "This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand". To one who opens their heart and ears, Jesus promises they will grow rich with his wisdom. Jesus called his disciples and apostles blessed because they saw and heard what the other people wanted to but could not see and hear. Jesus said: "Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it". We are blessed in a same way as Jesus' disciples and apostles because we can see and hear what happens in the lives of the faithful.
The sower parable teaches us how to hear God. The big question for us, is: how do I/you listen to God's word? Some parts of the Gospel are easy to listen to and reflect on. When the message is cheerful and friendly, it’s human nature to receive it. But if the next message comes with pain, sadness or a bad situation, we forget the happiness of the first message. God gives grace to those who hunger for his word that they may understand his will and have the strength to live according to his law.
Only when hearts are open, then Jesus' parables find good soil and God's word enlightens them. God is always ready to speak to each of us and to give us understanding of his word. Are you willing to hear from God? Are you hungry for God? Remember, the word of God challenges us. We prove our faith in difficult and sad times. If we are Christians and are with Jesus we can always prove our faith and bear fruit. The harvest is coming: love, hope, faith, charity.
May God bless you and help you grow in your faith. Open your hearts and your ears, to listen to God's word. Share your happiness and your hope in Jesus with others. As Jesus taught his disciples, may he teach you. Like Jesus' disciples and apostles listened to their master, may you listen to Jesus, your savior. One day God will give all believers a place in heaven like Jesus gave to his disciples and apostles. Amen.