Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel, we hear the parable of the sower.  He sows seed everywhere.  On the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, and in good soil.

Jesus is the sower.  He seemingly indiscriminately sows seed everywhere. 

And yet, Jesus is also God.  And God is omniscient, all-knowing.  At least in his divine nature. 

Why would an all-knowing God waste seed where he knows it will not take root?  Why not save the seed for good soil?

Well, one reason is that this is not a zero-sum game.  There is not a finite supply of the word of God.  If it is given to those in whom it will not take root, that does not mean that there is less for the “rich soil.”  It is the same with the love of God and with the grace of God. 

We must also remember the universal salvific will of God.  God wills that all be saved, as we hear in Saint Paul’s First Letter to Timothy.  God offers to all of us the gift of salvation.  It is our choice to accept it or not.

This parable also illustrates the gratuitousness of God.  His love cannot be contained.  It is shared with all.  It is not rationed out only to those who God knows will respond positively.  It is freely given even to those that God knows will reject it.  God’s love is not rational.  It is excessive.

This infinite love is what leads to his boundless mercy when that love encounters a repentant sinner.  The sinner does not get what he or she deserves.  Instead, the sinner receives mercy that is not deserved.  God does not want to sentence us to eternal punishment.  God wants to welcome us into eternal life with the Trinity. 

Do we fully appreciate that this is who God is?  Are we skeptical that we could be loved with such an excessive love?  Are we doubtful that we could be forgiven for some of the things that we have done?  When we go to Confession, do we trust in the forgiveness and mercy of God?  Or do we still carry guilt for our sins?