When truth reaches our ears, where does it go? Jesus outlines four possibilities in His parable of the sower (Lk 8: 5-15). Shown in the painting, from left to right are the pathway, the rocky ground, the thorny weeds and the rich soil.
If we belong to the first category, we would not bother to reflect on the parable, yet none of us can honestly say we belong to the last one either. Most of us fit into the second and third of Jesus’ examples. They deal with roots and growth. In one case, the roots do not go deep enough and in the other, the growth gets choked off.
Hearers likened to rocky ground receive the word with joy. They happily accept the truth with the mind but it does not penetrate the heart. The truth is not deeply rooted and does not survive under trial.
When truth does make it to the heart, it encounters thorny weeds. These weeds are the desire for material things and worldly cares. They stuff the heart leaving little room for God. The measure by which we can be productive in our love for God is that by which we can temper the world’s allurements.
Where should the word of God go when we hear it? When our minds accept it with joy and our hearts make it their own, and if in our hearts there are no competing worldly desires, then the seed has found rich soil and the harvest of fruit produced will be abundant.