Words are cheap. So it seems to us too often in aworld full of words. Everywhere we turn there are words that confront us. Everyone has words that they want to share with us. Often these words are full of empty promises. Many of the words we hear are empty and meaningless. Throughout our lifetime, because we are bombarded with so many words, and we can’t possibly seriously consider them all, we learn selective listening. We pick out the things that we want to hear. Much of what we hear is swept aside and never listened to or attended to. Some words sound good to us but seem impossible, too good to be true, and the anxieties and fears that we harbor within us swallow them up and dispel them into the darkness. Other times we lack the time and the energy to seriously consider the words that we have heard and they escape from us, forgotten like a dream. There are times in which the words that we hear can engender hope within us but then other words, strong and dismissive, soon overpower them and return us to our daily struggles.
God is a sower of words. From the beginning God used His word to create and to establish order in the universe. Everything that is has its own word that names it, forms it and gives it meaning. The words of God are powerful and creative. These words are not cheap and thoughtlessly spoken. The word of God expresses his goodness and his love. Under the appearance of all things there are words that are hidden that give us understanding and place us in the proper relationship to these things, they reveal God’s intention and the goodness of all things. God’s word reveals and teaches. His word is a sign of his love and goodness that is hidden in all things. His word leads us to wisdom and allows us to know the meaning and order of all things in existence. The word of God is full of purpose and meaning. The word of God is powerful, effective and creative. Isaiah expresses this truth in his prophecy: “Thus says the Lord…so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (Is 55,11) God’s word is filled with truth that allows us the freedom to grow, to mature and to be conformed to his will and purpose. Within the word of God we find life and discover our place in life.
As human persons, God has created us with the unique ability to receive his words, understand his words and the purpose and truth behind them, integrate his words into the story of our lives and respond to his words with words of our own. We are the only creatures that God has created with the ability to speak words of our own. Our words can direct the course of our lives. They can lead us into relationships of love, they can bring purpose to our lives in vocation, they can continue the work of God’s creation and they can be used to teach, to guide and to help others along the path of life. Words lead to communication and establish communion with others, building marriage, family and community, the foundations of human society. Our words can be life-giving and creative when they are conformed to God’s word or they can be toxic and destructive when they are spoken selfishly and thoughtlessly without concern for God’s will and purpose.
Jesus is given to us as the Word of God made flesh. He comes among us as a sower of words. Every word that he speaks is a word that he has received from the Father. Every word that he speaks is in conformity to God’s will. Every word that he speaks reveals God’s love and presence among us. The word that Jesus sows is a word of truth because it expresses and reveals the truth, goodness and beauty hidden in all things. Jesus uses his word to teach, to heal, to forgive, to give life, to expel evil, to guide and to form community. His word is used to build the Kingdom of God among human persons. This word is sown as a seed that is in search of good soil that will allow it to grow, mature and accomplish God’s will for abundant life.
The parable of the sower speaks about the soil that exists in human hearts to receive the word of God. The rich soil of faith is a gift that God gives to each of us to receive his word and to respond to it. When the word that is sown by Jesus in the gospel finds the rich soil of faith in human hearts it has the power to transform the world. It can quietly grow within the human heart and bear the rich fruit of God’s Kingdom. When we treasure this word and nurture it in our lives it will bear the fruit of abundant life. We have the opportunity to hear the word of God once again and sow it deep in our hearts. If we can be open to this word, and receive it in faith, it will lead us to life, an abundant and joyful life in God’s presence.