15th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Sown on the Path…”
The parable of the sower deals with discipleship as it is in terms of gain and loss, ‘win some, lose some’. On the one hand, this interpretation speaks to the demands of perfectionism – “Get over it.” On the other, it does not suggest laxity, rather a view of the regular and ongoing challenges to repent and believe “You are my Beloved!” And to share that with others.
The seed sown on the path was snatched away by evil, the evil one, unhealthy eye, envious eye, bearing bad fruit, demanding certainty, scuttling Jesus’ mission in our hearts & others… We saw this yesterday.
The Greek verb used here is used in conjunction with ravenous lions, taking by force, and such – aparázo. Two passages demonstrate the power of the strong taking from the weak:
Isaiah 10:1f Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey!
Ezekiel 22:24f Mortal, say to it: You are a land that is not cleansed, not rained upon in the day of indignation. Its princes within it are like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows within it.
My point: Many of us inhabit a spiritual world in which perfection and perfect adherence to everything divine seems just one great exertion of will-power away. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather, what if discipleship is about inhabiting our wounded and fallible humanity. And diving deeper into it. And bringing to the light what we avoid. And perhaps some of it will thaw.
That’s what discipleship seems like to me today.