Sow What?

I recently reached the final page of a long, good book. I turned the back cover over and placed it on the coffee table with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. As I returned it to its place on the bookshelf the following morning, I tried to think of what I
remembered about the book. I realized I didn’t remember anything. I read every word, yet I failed to retain any of the meaning.

There are two ends to which the pursuit of knowledge may lead: the love of knowledge itself, or the application of knowledge as a weapon of love. Neither are bad. One is insufficient.

In his brilliant book Theology for Beginners, the renowned apologist Frank Sheed begs the reader to reread the Gospels, Acts, Paul’s Epistles and eventually the entire Old Testament as well as the rest of the New Testament. Specifically, he says that “…there is
no exhausting their richness” when it comes to chapters fourteen through seventeen of John’s Gospel (Sheed 33). But he cautions the reader to read them as though this was the first time. Most of us know the parable of the Sower like the back of our hands. We
hear it read aloud in mass. We see it in a playful rendering during the musical Godspell. We see drawings of it used as illustrations for children in Religious Education. The tendency is to immediately recognize the parable, and in doing so turn our focus away
because we assume we understand all it has to offer. But Jesus delivered his parables to illustrate truths that increase in their relevance as we move from stage to stage in our lives, just as Shakespeare wrote his plays to be overflowing with relevant truths no matter the time period. However, Shakespeare was a playwright. Jesus is God.

Jesus is the sower.
The seeds are Jesus’ words.
We are the path.
We are the rocky ground.
We are the thorns.
We can be rich soil.

It’s easy to believe we’re rich soil when in reality the majority of us are probably the rocky ground or thorns. We get excited about the Good News of Jesus Christ, but we lack roots. Or we accept the words of Jesus Christ, but we are too concerned with
“worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things” (Mark 4:19). Look at this parable from the lens of your current stage in life and inhale these words as though for the first time.

Then when it’s your time to bear fruit, don’t keep it all for yourself or it will become rotten. Share it with not only your friends but your enemies as well.

Benjamin serves as the Music Minister at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Branchville, NJ. He teaches Children’s Theatre at the Paper Mill Playhouse and is a Catholic songwriter that has given talks on Confirmation, How to Keep the Faith in College, and The Courage to Choose Life. His album The Start Toward Rivo Torto can be found on SoundCloud and his other talks and music can be found on YouTube.  He can be reached at