Thursday, July 10, 2014
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
July 13, 2014
At the end of the story of the parable of the sower, Jesus makes this call: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." We are asked to pay close attention to the parable. But what are we to think about? The sower? The seed? The different soils?
Traditionally, we Christians have focused almost exclusively on the soil on which the seed falls, to review what our attitude is when we hear the Gospel. However, it's important to pay attention to the sower and how he sows.
It's the first thing in the story: "A sower went out to sow." He does it with surprising confidence. He sows abundantly. The seed falls and it falls everywhere, including where it would seem hard for the seed to be able to germinate. That's how the peasants in Galilee did it, even sowing along the roadsides and in rocky terrain.
It isn't hard for the people to identify the sower. That's how Jesus sows his message. They see him go out every morning to proclaim the Good News of God. He sows his Word among the simple people who accept him, and also among the scribes and Pharisees who reject him. He never gets discouraged. His sowing will never be in vain.
Overwhelmed by a strong religious crisis, we might think that the Gospel has lost its original strength and the message of Jesus no longer has the hook to attract the attention of men and women of today. It is certainly not the time to "harvest" striking successes, but to learn to sow without becoming discouraged, with more humility and truth.
It isn't the Gospel that has lost its humanizing power; we are the ones who are proclaiming it with weak and wavering faith. Jesus isn't the one who has lost his drawing power. We're the ones who detract from him with our inconsistencies and contradictions.
Pope Francis says that when Christians don't have a strong attachment to Jesus, "enthusiasm soon wanes and we are no longer sure of what it is that we are handing on; we lack vigor and passion. A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love, will convince nobody."
Evangelizing isn't propagating a doctrine, but making Jesus' humanizing and saving power present in society and in people's hearts. And that can't be done any which way. What's most crucial isn't the number of preachers, catechists, or religious instructors, but the gospel quality we Christians can radiate. What are we spreading? Indifference or confident faith? Mediocrity or passion for a more humane life?