The other day reading Scripture, I came across Jesus’ parable of the Sower.. You probably remember it, the sower sows seed, some falls on the path, some falls on rocky soil, some falls among thorns, and some falls on good soil.
Check out Luke’s Gospel here for the full story.
What’s interesting about this parable is that the Gospels actually give us Christ’s explanation. He tells us what it means, what the seed is and what each case represents.
When I have heard this parable before, I’ve always thought about which case I would label myself. On this reading, it was the third scenario that stuck out in particular: the seed among the thorns. The seed that sprouts up but is choked out.
“As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard (the word), but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit.” Luke 8:14
Anxieties, riches, and pleasures. In other words, we fall for what the world tries to offer.
And for us today, I think one of these is especially relevant: anxieties. Living in the 21st century, we’ve got food, movies, heck even dates, on demand. All of this gives us a false sense of control. Sooner or later, we realize (or hopefully we do), that we are not in control. But, that’s not the problem. The problem is letting our lack of control lead to anxiety.
Let’s face it: we can’t change the president’s or the pope’s minds. For 99% of the world’s problems, all we can do is offer prayers (which we should).
We must remember where our influence lies, where can we have a positive impact. At home. At work. At our parish. Let that be the good soil.
And today: reflect on what causes us worry, what do we get worked up about, what causes us anxiety?