When gardening or farming, one plans what to plant and where with preparation, precision,, irrigation, and protection so seeds may thrive. Jesus catches our attention with this one who casts seeds recklessly such that some fell where birds ate them, where shoots sprang up but quickly withered, where thorns grew alongside and chocked them, as well as where they bore fruit. No one plants like this, in places with little chance of survival. No one is so reckless.
God is no ordinary gardener. God is reckless with generosity, sowing love everywhere, including in the face of rejection.
My guess is you, too, have loved like this. There are times you continued to show up, listen, and provide even when a person wouldn’t turn toward you or did so only briefly before turning away. Remember doing this with children, family or others.
Many of us, I suspect, have had the experience of receiving a word from the Lord. Some thought, some command, some desire that God had planted in our hearts, and in our minds. We may not have recognized it at the time, or maybe we resisted, or dismissed it, but the seed had been planted. The sower had sown the word, and we received it. We received a word from the Lord, and eventually we knew it. We knew we had received a word from the Lord. How did we know? How did we know that this thought, this command, this desire comes from God, and is not just the product of our own wishful (or punitive) thinking? How did we know? How do we know? For God is still sowing words in our hearts, and in our minds. How do we know when it’s from the Lord?
“Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen, who thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean; lo to thee surrendered my whole heart is bowed, tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.”
Words of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274), whose feast we keep today. Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen…actually, it seems that Thomas may indeed have seen the unseen Verity, the unseen Truth, or at least some manifestation of the Divine, some kind of theophany.