Jesus begins today’s gospel very clearly, “Hear this!” and he begins to tell the parable of the sower and the seeds . We know it so well, we can almost say it along with him….”A sower went to sow some seeds……” (Mk. 4:1-20)
After Mass I began thinking not only of the ways the seed falls – on the pathway, on the rocks, on fertile soil – but where the seeds might come from. Of course, we will think of Christ and His words as found in Scripture, the teachings of the Church and writings of the saints and so and so on. But some seeds can also come from the evil one, the hands of our enemies or well-meaning friends and family who want to discourage us from following Christ. In other words, just as the seeds might fall anywhere, the ‘sower’ can be almost anyone.
But we, as parents and teachers, are a special type of ‘sower’. We are the first ones to plant seeds in our children’s hearts, minds and souls. As such, we need to think about not only where those seeds are falling, but what seeds we are sowing.
As parents we should strive to sow seeds that grow into virtue. And we also realize the timing is just as important. For example, we would never think of trying to teach either a toddler or a sleepy teenager how to drive. Rather we wait until the timing is right, ensuring they are old enough, mature enough and alert enough to get behind the wheel.
So it is true with virtue – we begin gently with little children reminding them again and again of our expectations. Meanwhile, with older children we might start expecting a bit more maturity, initiative towards responsibility and independence.
In addition, we want to insure the quality of the seeds we are sowing. In Proverbs 6:19 we are warned, very clearly about the perverted heart, working for evil who ‘sows discord’. We try to keep at watch at the door (or our own actions and language, the TV, or the phone or the friendship) to prevent the ‘the enemy…prowling like a hungry lion’ who is ‘looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8)
The best type of seeds we can sow can start with trying to grow the fruits of the Holy Spirit as found in Galatians 5. We want our child’s hearts full of seeds that will produce the peace, joy and patience (among others) they need as strong Catholics.
Those seeds will come from how we ourselves act and speak in front of them, in front of others and even with ourselves.
And that image from above??
These are actually pages of seeds that we received at a wedding! Seeds have been imbedded in the paper that can be planted come spring time and, hopefully, the garden will bloom with new flowers.
Take a closer look – the seeds are almost invisible to be seen as the paper was used as the actual invitation and name cards at the reception! It looks like just plain paper when, in truth, it is a garden just waiting for the chance to be planted and bloom!
What a lovely image and thought for ourselves. With the help of Jesus and his Blessed Mother may we become not only the sowers but the actual seeds that bloom into a garden of virtue with all the fruits the Holy Spirit is waiting to send our way.
Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest and in our souls come take thy rest….