In the traditional understanding of the parable of “The Sower and Seed,” the focus is often on the soil as a description of our hearts, of our openness to the word of God being sown into our lives. The soil/heart is described as a well-trod path, rocky ground, a bramble of thorns, or rich fertile soil. There is some insight there to be sure, but it does not necessarily give insight into a remedy. Some have described it as “the soil under your feet”. All one must do is to look down, assess the conditions where you stand in life, and move. Move to the rich fertile soil – and yes, along the way you will have to deal with birds, the weeds and the scorching sun.
At least two things stand out for me about the Sower: generosity and persistence.
God is on a mission to remove evil from His good world, along with all of its corrosive effects. However, He wants to do it in a way that does not involve removing humans. In this video on sacrifice and atonement, the good people at the Bible Project trace the theme of God’s atoning or “covering” over human evil through animal sacrifices that ultimately point to Jesus and his death and resurrection. The video shows how the Jewish Temple rituals of sacrifice and atonement have been replaced by the New Testament rituals of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Note: the video’s will not present a fully Catholic understanding of Baptism or Eucharist, but the trajectory of their narrative points to our fuller understanding of these sacraments.)
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