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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus explains the parable of the sower. This parable is reminiscent of another well-known story of Jesus: that of the shepherd and the lost sheep. 

“What man among you,” asks Jesus, “having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?” Can we imagine the shepherds in Jesus’ audience shaking their heads? No shepherd would be so foolish! Which is just the point: God’s love is so extravagant that it breaks all of our categories of what is reasonable.

One of our favorite pastimes is setting limits to the love of God. We say that God loves those who love him, or that God loves those who are in the right church or have the right doctrines. But God does not sow only on the receptive soil; he sows everywhere, even in those places that are least receptive.