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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the sower.

In this famous story of the sower, we focus on the different types of soil and apply them symbolically to ourselves. Now, there is nothing wrong with this interpretation as far as it goes, but I think that it misses what was at the heart of the parable for Jesus.

Focus your attention on this absolutely mad sower. Imagine a crowd of farmers listening to this parable: a man goes out to sow and he throws the seed on the path, on rocky soil, on thorny soil, and finally on good soil. The original hearers of this tale would have have exchanged glances and rolled their eyes at the ridiculousness of this farmer.

That was precisely the reaction that Jesus wanted. For God is like this crazy farmer, sowing the seed of his word and his love—not only on receptive soil, not only to those who will respond, but also on the path, on the rocks, and the thorns, lavishly pouring out his love on those who are least likely to respond. God’s love is irrational, extravagant, embarrassing, unreasonable, completely over the top.