"Ah, Lord GOD!" I said,
"But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
I like both of these readings very much. The call of Jeremiah is very helpful. Jeremiah's first response is very familiar. He said, in essence, "I can't do it." We make excuses, too. We say we are too young; too inexperienced: or too busy. In general, we are really too afraid or simply are not free enough to respond to what might involve sacrifice.
It is wonderful to be reminded that the Lord can use us, even when we are reluctant or even resistant. He puts words in our mouths. He touches us to free us and to give us whatever we need to be his instruments. That includes being a prophet where a prophet is needed. It includes being a leader where a leader is needed. It includes being a loving spouse or parent in the challenging situations in which I find myself.
And the parable of the sower is terrific for any of us who have tried these things and realize that the response is not always what we had hoped. Some of our precious efforts fall on deaf ears or on unresponsive hearts. Sometimes we are in a culture determined to "choke" our efforts at greater love and care for the common good, especially for those on the margins of our society. Sometimes, the wounds that have hurt the hearts of loved ones need deep healing first.
The good news of this parable is the assurance that there is some good soil out there. Our efforts to act with love in his name will bear great fruit. It will. The outcome of our efforts will be fruitful. So, the message is, "Sow boldly. Keep sowing. Trust the master of the harvest."
Each of us can reflect upon the power of this message for our individual calls today.
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