The gospel readings from yesterday, today and through the week until Saturday, are an important discussion and review of the Kingdom of God. If we listen to what Jesus is saying, apropos of simply hearing Jesus talking, we have an opportunity to gather some concrete descriptions of what is is for us to become a part of his Kingdom and continue to live within that entity in peace and happiness.
Earlier readings this week offer Jesus' words about living in the "house" of God's Kingdom: in essence there is no house. Jesus never owned a house. When Mary and the friends of Jesus came to a house, it was not his, not Mary's. It was simply a house where Jesus had been invited to present his message. This is the message for us today: we do not wait for the Kingdom of God to come to us when we die, rather we are called to realize that "where two or three are gathered in my name" that is where you find yourself in the Kingdom of God. So, gaining entrance to this Kingdom, is something we accomplish while we are here on this earth.
For three days now we will be considering a parable about the Kingdom which have been offered countless times in our lives: the parable of the sower spreading seed over different types of soil.
This image largely describes too the field in which Jesus the preacher and teacher is working. It provides very mixed soil and much of the seed does not go very far in producing fruit. All this has been described in what we have already seen of Jesus’ mission among the people, the religious leaders, his own family – and his disciples. It is these latter who are the fertile soil, these are the ones who will enter, who are already entering the Kingdom.
The message of the parable of the sower is quite simple: the sower goes out to spread seed, to plant the seed. As it happens, Jesus describes the sower spreading the seed over several different types of soil. What we see is this: despite the failure of the seeds to grow in some areas, there will be a crop from the area of the good soil. God's plan will succeed despite the inability of the seeds to become a crop in some areas. Ultimately success will be had.
What we can learn today is this: while efforts put forth by God in our hands may not succeed always at the exact time we want or expect. Nevertheless, God's will will be accomplished. Consider the difficulties St. Paul and others who were missioned to preach the gospel encountered along the way. Communities of believers were established but not all succeeded. Look at the Church today. Our faith, our Church has endured since those founding communities began to open the Word of God among themselves in prayer and worship. We know God's Word has fallen on many different soils. Some of our labors have not succeeded but there has been the inspiration and graces of the Holy Spirit to lead us forward.
Within our own hearts we surely must recognize how there are different kinds of soil, different moments of receptivity to the Word of God: sometimes easy, sometimes difficult, sometimes testing. But, if we continue to trust and believe, if we do all we can to know our Faith and to enjoy living our Faith, we will achieve the life God wants us to live. We just have to be patient, trusting and, especially, good "listeners".