The mind receives, the heart gives. The Word of God comes to us in the form of teachings and doctrines. It falls like a seed into us. This seed must make its journey from the head to the heart. Because it is from the heart and not the mind that love flows. Teachings and doctrines must not remain merely as head knowledge but must be made to come alive through our actions.
“As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.”
We are meant to be sowers of love. As the rain waters the earth to make it rich, knowledge nourishes us with understanding. As rain water seeps its way into the earth to find life, the Word of God must make its way into our heart to give life.
But this journey for the seed is a challenging one. Within us, our experiences in life have shaped our emotions, feelings, thoughts, decisions and actions. These have made us who we are. They have formed the landscape along the path from our head to our heart.
Perhaps we relate best to the seed that fell among thorns for we care too much for our worldly needs, choking and distancing us from a life of faith. Part of this path are also like patches of rock when experiences have led us into cynicism or bitterness and un-forgiveness preventing the Word of God from taking root in us.
However, knowledge is a double edged sword. It can also make us proud and arrogant. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil comes and carries off what was sown in his heart.” This “understanding” is this necessity for this knowledge to be coupled with action. We cannot teach or preach when our actions do not testify of this love. Without actions of love, it will only be our pride speaking and often the contraction cuts like a sword.
We live in an over-informed time. Obedience to faith was easy in the yesteryears when life was less complicated and our minds less crowded. Today, overcoming our challenges to faith cannot only be an intellectual battle. Debating on knowledge alone will only leave us in a stalemate.
We are called to sow in this battlefield. Catechism alone will be like roots that quickly dry up in the scorching sun if we fail to bring alive this knowledge through love. And love is action that originate from our heart. Our heart is rich soil, and the seed of love must reach it. Only then can our life “yield a harvest that produces now a hundredfold”.
As love rain down from heaven into our life, watering it and making it grow, our life will yield a harvest, so when our journey is complete we return to our Maker, not empty, but succeeding in carrying out what our life was sent to do: Sow Love.
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time