Readings: 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49; Luke 8:6-15
Have you ever considered how immediate, how visceral the images of Jesus’ parables can be? Today’s familiar parable of the Sower casting the seed is literally earthy.
And isn’t this a dynamic description of the Church as we experience it in our lives? Not the church as a juridical corporation, as a religious-social institution or as a constitutional definition but as soil–as a path so trampled by traffic as to remain unreceptive and unproductive; as soil rocky and dry, choked by thorns; or richly fertile and productive. And all at the same time!
Those other definitions and models have their function and timeliness but they inevitably leave the Church beyond us, outside of ourselves. Today’s parable reminds us that we are the Church, which is not outside us at all. The Church springs from us. The Church is an organism composed of ourselves; the Church is how we receive or refuse the Word of God.
We are all that God has to work with, here and now; but that does not necessarily mean that God canonizes my analysis, my goals, my strategies, my culture wars. They are all too limited by my limitations. God needs me to be flexible, responsive, empty–obedient to the Holy Spirit.
Yes, God needs me–but doesn’t need me to get in the way. That’s how I can choke the Word of God.