Our first reading today compliments the familiar Gospel parable about the careless Sower who went out to sow his seed.
The careless sower let some seed fall on the hard path where the birds snatched it up without its having a chance to sink in. He strewed some seed on the thin inch of soil covering a layer of stone. (That seed immediately germinated, and sent up shoots, but it quickly withered for its inability to send roots through the stone to water.) He dropped some seed on thorny ground where it lost its battle for life to hardy thorns. But thank God, some seed fell on good ground, bearing a fine harvest.
Jesus said that the seed stood for the word of God. By that he meant both the urges that come to you to do something good, as well as the moments of clarity in which he lets you discover the truth of situations.
The four kinds of soil stand for four different states of mind you might have when God’s word comes to you. You could be like the hardened path where God’s word doesn’t sin in. You can be like the thin soil on stone where your enthusiasm is short-lived. You can be like the thorny soil when your greed, lust or boredom squeeze out your good intentions. But, then, you can cooperate with God’s word, really getting things done.
The first reading compliments the Gospel in that it tells us God’s words, his inspirations, his graces, are as abundant as the rainfall. He keeps peppering our hearts with his graces; and even though most of us most of the time do not respond, still his graces keep coming with such abundance that the world doesn’t shrivel up. I half way remember a catechism question and answer on this subject.
Q: Can we resist the grace of God? A: We can, and unfortunately, often do resist the grace of God.