For the bulk of this directory, the Congregation for the Clergy has provided headings about every numbered section or two. I’ll be grouping and subtitling posts accordingly. Today’s section leads off with a quote from Mark 4:3, and the parable of the sower and the seed.
15. The parable of the sower going out to sow is the source of inspiration for evangelization. The seed is the word of God (Lk 8:11). The sower is Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago he proclaimed the Gospel in Palestine and sent the disciples to sow the Gospel in the world. Today, Jesus Christ, present in the Church through his Spirit, continues to scatter the word of the Father ever more widely in the field of the world. The conditions of the soil into which it falls vary greatly. The Gospel “falls by the wayside” (Lk 4,4) when it is not really heard; it falls on “stony soil” without taking root; it falls “amongst the thorns” (Lk 4:2) where it is quickly choked by the cares and troubles that weigh upon the hearts of men. Nonetheless, some seed falls “on good soil” (Mk 4:8) that is among men and women who are open to a personal relationship with God and who are in solidarity with their neighbour. This seed brings forth fruit in great abundance. Jesus, in the parable of the sower, proclaims the Good News that the Kingdom of God is near, notwithstanding the problems in the soil, the tensions, conflicts and difficulties of the world. The Gospel seed makes fertile the history of mankind and promises a rich harvest. Jesus also cautions, however, that the word of God grows only in a well disposed heart.
We know the parable quite well. Note the importance laid on people who are in “solidarity” with others. Is this really a part of either the parable or the intention of catechesis and evangelization? Some questions for commentary:
- Why would the right relationship with a neighbor be emphasized like this?
- How can we or do we cultivate that “well disposed” heart in our own interiors?