The WORD in Other Words by Fr Cyril Ortega SVD (Philippines) for Friday Week 3 in Ordinary Time
In today‘s parable, Jesus presents the farmer as a beholder of miracles. He would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. The farmer cannot manufacture a seed. He can only select the seed, plant it in the right conditions, irrigate it with water, and apply fertilizer. The result is powerful. From one seed comes a plant that produces grain, fruit, or vegetables much more valuable than the original seed he planted.
Jesus says this is similar to how the kingdom of God comes to us. A preacher comes along and plants the seed of God‘s word among us. He does not know who will believe and who will not. He preaches and teaches, not knowing how the Holy Spirit will work, only trusting that He will.
When the message is received by someone, it is as if a seed has been planted and started to sprout. It is a mystery how faith in Jesus takes hold of a person, producing fruits of good works. We cannot predict where the seed of the Word will sprout, which souls will respond and grow, and which will become stony and hard and reject the Word of life. Those who receive the Word do grow, and grow surprisingly well.
What we want to watch out for are the things that obstruct the growth of the Kingdom among us. Things like jealousy, pride, greed, and injustice work against the power of God‘s Word. We should stay away from them. But God is faithful, and when we confess our sins, His forgiveness is total. We are readied for the harvest when He will take us from this broken life and gather us to Him: in Him we will reap the fruits of our faithfulness.