Seed that struggles to grow
>> On the horizon
MANY times we bump into the truth that there is a gap between what we say and what we do; between what we profess to be and how we actually behave. Often we notice this inconsistency more easily in others. It is disappointing to discover people whose word is worthless, but sometimes our own words are no bargains either: we lie, we draw back, we decorate the truth with so many disguises that it becomes unrecognisable.
In sharp contrast to the fragility of the human word, the word of God is seen to be always effective because of who God is: God is no man that he should lie, no son of Adam to draw back. For God, to speak is the same thing as to do, to promise is the same thing as to fulfill. God’s word creates what it says; he speaks the word into existence; when he says “Let there be…” there is.
The word of Jesus is spoken with authority. In his healing ministry he speaks people better. But there is another word that Jesus speaks. This word is like a seed that is sown by Jesus, a seed that depends on the condition of the ground if it is to grow and bear fruit.
This we hear in the parable of the sower, with four types of hearers. First, those who hear the word without understanding it, the word is taken easily by all. Second, those whose first enthusiasm for the word cannot withstand trial because the word has never taken root in them. Third, those who hear the word but are overcome by a litany of distractions and lose it. Fourth, those who hear the word and understand it, who take it to heart and yield a harvest through their persistence.
Discipleship enables the preached word to become a fruitful thing, not just a word. Underlying the parable there is a telling confidence: in spite of all the obstacles present in the various types of hearers, the seed does succeed in growing and producing a rich harvest.
Like all seeds, the word of God takes time to grow. But if we take the time to nourish the word, God will wait on the gradual process. It might take us a lifetime. But if we allow the seed to struggle to grow in us, we will grow too. Eventually, the word of God and our own word might become one. And that would be a harvest indeed. Fr Cornelio ‘Jinjo’ Solis, St Augustine’s Church, Kyabram.