Beloved brothers and sisters, our Lord Jesus Christ is the Sower who generously scatters the seed of God’s word. As St. Jerome said, God’s word is seed sown in fertile soil, yielding abundant harvest. Yet as Jesus’ parable shows, the soil’s condition matters greatly.
Why parables? St. John Chrysostom noted Jesus taught parables to engage people face-to-face, meeting them where they were. As St. Jerome explained, Jesus used everyday stories to draw people deeper in understanding.
The hard path represents those shutting out God’s word entirely. As St. Jerome lamented, the stubbornly unwilling perceive parables as riddles, not revelation. Let us pray for receptive hearts and spirits to receive God’s wisdom. How tragic to spurn life-giving teaching! We must guard against creeping hardness of heart over time. Worldly clamor and clinging to sin cement resistance if we’re not careful. But take heart! It’s not too late to let God soften hardened ground through repentance. By God’s grace the fallow fields of the soul can nourish new growth again.