‘When we move into mystery, into what is a meeting of the transcendent and the ordinary, we need words and images to express what is beyond expression. Today’s Gospel uses the images of sower and seeds to express the mystery of God’s kingdom, the “where God is experienced.”1
‘Sowers are people of hope, a hope that comes from letting the past be, like the turning over of the soil before a new crop is planted. Once he has planted the seed, the sower has no way of knowing how the seed is doing. That is the great lesson of sowing, learning to wait, learning to let life take its course. We must trust what we cannot see.’2
The seed is in the ground.
Now may we rest in hope
While darkness does its work.
‘Sowers have vision. The business of sowing is like prophesying which is about planting new questions in the human heart. It is not for people who seek immediate success. It is for people who live according to what their heart is telling them about what life is meant to be like.
Sowers are life-givers. The sower respects the sacredness of life and sees the generative energy in the soil, in the sun, in the rain, in the day and in the night. The sower is open to the generative energy and love within himself and around him. He knows the secret of growth, the slow process that needs its own time. He knows what it is like, waiting for life to emerge. Sowing is about releasing life, about releasing hidden beauty and potential. The poet Rainer Marie Rilke writes: ‘Everything is gestation and then birthing.’2
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Gospel Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is what the Kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.”
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.