The Parable of the Sower / La Parábola del Sembrador

If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably already harvested some of what you planted in the spring. Maybe some of the flowers are already adorning your home. Maybe you’ve eaten some of the vegetables. Or maybe you’ve been disappointed with the germination of some of those seeds, and you’re already considering how to amend the soil for next year.

Jesus knows this situation. He scatters the seeds of the Word liberally and generously, but often the germination rate is poor or the yield is less than it might have been. What’s the problem? It’s certainly not the seed itself, which is the Word of the Kingdom. The problem lies in the hearts of those who hear this Word, whether they are prepared to receive it.

Some hearts have no understanding and no desire to understand, so the Enemy steals away the seed before it can form the tiniest roots. Some hearts are eager for the comfort, the “warm-fuzzy” feeling of the Word of Truth, but they turn away quickly when it challenges them, and the seed is never nurtured and cannot take root in them. Some hearts are distracted by the “5P’s”: power, prestige, pleasure, prosperity, and popularity; they hear but cannot embrace the Word because they are holding on to other things and it cannot flourish in them. But some hearts are ready and eager, prepared by prayer, enriched by desire, and furrowed by humility, and the Word finds rich earth where it can root and grow and bear much fruit.

Our hearts must be properly prepared to receive the seed of the Word. With prayer and humility, we can become like Mary, fertile earth to receive and nourish and give growth to the Seed planted in us, so that we can bear fruit and yield a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold! Let’s pray that God will prepare our hearts to receive the Seed of the Word eagerly and fruitfully every time we hear the Gospel proclaimed so that we can bear much fruit.

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Si eres jardinero, probablemente ya hayas cosechado algo de sembraste en la primavera. Tal vez unas flores ya están adornando tu hogar. Tal vez has comido algunas de las verduras. O tal vez te hayas decepcionado con la germinación de algunas de esas semillas, y ya estés considerando cómo mejorar la tierra para el próximo año.

Jesús conoce esta situación. Esparce las semillas de la Palabra con liberalidad y generosidad, pero a menudo la tasa de germinación es pobre o el rendimiento es menor de lo que podría haber sido. ¿Cuál es el problema? Ciertamente no es la semilla misma, que es la Palabra del Reino. El problema está en el corazón de los que escuchan esta Palabra, si están preparados para recibirla.

Algunos corazones no tienen comprensión ni deseo de comprender, por lo que el Enemigo roba la semilla antes de que pueda formar las más pequeñas raíces. Algunos corazones están ansiosos por el consuelo, el sentimiento “tibio-borroso” de la Palabra de Verdad, pero se alejan rápidamente cuando los desafía, y la semilla nunca se nutre y no puede echar raíces en ellos. Algunos corazones se distraen con las “5P”: poder, prestigio, placer, prosperidad y popularidad; escuchan pero no pueden abrazar la Palabra porque se aferran a otras cosas y no puede florecer en ellos. Pero algunos corazones están dispuestos y ansiosos, preparados por la oración, enriquecidos por el deseo y surcados por la humildad, y la Palabra encuentra tierra fértil donde echar raíces y crecer y dar mucho fruto.

Nuestro corazón debe estar debidamente preparado para recibir la semilla de la Palabra. Con oración y humildad, podemos llegar a ser como María, tierra fértil para recibir y nutrir y hacer crecer la Semilla plantada en nosotros, para que podamos dar fruto y rendir al ciento o al sesenta o al treinta por uno! Oremos para que Dios prepare nuestros corazones para recibir la Semilla de la Palabra con entusiasmo y fruto cada vez que escuchemos proclamar el Evangelio para que podamos dar mucho fruto.

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and seven grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

Feature Image Credit: Gelgas Airlangga,