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Watering all the earth that it may be fruitful

The Parable of the Sower
Father George Gartelos

Do you like to solve puzzles or riddles?

I know I do-I have one for you.

What walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon, and 3 legs at night?

Humans-crawl as a baby (the 'morning'); walk while growing up and as an adult (the 'afternoon'); and walk with the help of a cane as we get older (the 'night')-I pray that all of you and your parents and friends are blessed to live long enough to need a cane to help keep you steady as you walk.

Parables are sort of like riddles that Jesus used to teach us.

He told a story that we can understand and identify with, then used that story to teach us important things about the Kingdom of God.

Do you remember the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23)?

Was Jesus trying to teach us about farming?

Of course not.

Then why did He use this parable of the Sower?

Because He was talking to people who understood farming.

We are pretty lucky, because with this parable, we get the explanation.

At least part of it.

Let's think back to the Parable of the Sower.

A Farmer goes out and plants his seeds.

Some seeds fell along the path, and were trampled and eaten by birds.

Some of the seeds fell on the rocks, they sprang up at first, but had no roots, and then died.

Some of the seeds fell among thorns, these grew, but were then choked out by the thorns and withered away.

Other seeds fell in good soil, and grew and yielded crops.

His Disciples asked what this story means, and Jesus replied and explained to them:

The Seed is the Word of God.

Those "along the path" hear the Word of God, but they allow the devil to 'trample it and pluck it out' of their heart like the birds ate those seeds.

The ones "on the rock" hear the Word, receive it-but have no 'root' and in time of temptation they fall away from God.

Those "among the thorns" hear, but as they go on they are choked by the 'cares and riches and pleasures of life-their fruits do not mature.

Those in the "good soil" hear the Word of God and treasure it in an honest and good heart, and with patience bring forth fruits.

The thing we need to think about is where and how we fit in.

Ideally, we would all be the good soil all of the time.

Unfortunately this is often not the case.

So we need to be aware of the way we hear and respond to God.

And we must also remember.

We should compare ourselves to the different types of soil, cultivating seeds we receive.

We are also sowing our own seeds for others to see.

Our words, our actions, our attitudes and even our thoughts are all seeds which others will learn from.

For this reason it is important that we are sowing positive seeds for Christ.

And we need to remember to fight off the weeds in our lives.

Don't let them choke out our seeds.

We are all role models for others.

It doesn't matter if you are older than someone else or younger.

We are lucky, we can choose what kind of seeds we plant, and how and where we plant them.

What kind of seeds are you leaving behind?
Do you leave seeds of jealousy along the path.

Or maybe gossip seeds in the rocks?

Are we too busy with weeds of worry about toys, games, boys/girls to consider others or our relationship with God.

The reality is, you CAN help, in fact it is our job to help.

We are ALL sowing seeds. We can ALL be the good soil, and sow good seeds, and if we allow our seeds to be cultivated and watered then we can bear fruits of love that will lead not only ourselves, but others closer to God.

Father George Gartelos is Associate Pastor of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Houston, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and his MDivy from Holy Cross. Fr. George, Presvytera Katina and their three children moved to Houston last summer.

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