On this 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are presented with the Parable of the Sower. Parables can be annoying because their meaning may not be immediately clear. Even if we come up with a quick understanding, often after further review we come to an even deeper understanding, perhaps different from what we first thought. The question that may come to mind is, "Why Lord? Why not just say what you want to say? What's with the hidden teaching?
Jesus' point in using parables is not to confuse, but to challenge us to engage the Word as a whole person. Human beings, made in the image and likeness of God, are a union of body and soul, mind and heart. Wholeness comes when mind and heart work together. The parables are meant to stimulate our intellect so that the decision to follow Christ is informed and not simply blind passion.
John Paul II reminded us that to be authentic disciples of Christ, it requires faith and reason. Remove one of them from the equation and we flounder. Benedict XVI, when he was a young theologian, wrote in An Introduction to Christianity that faith motivates us to utilize our intellect in the search for truth, reminding us that such a search is meant to enhance our lives, to allow us to be more human. Remove faith, we remove the human element, life, the world and its beauty is reduced to processes and equations and a loss of appreciation and awe with the beauty of creation and the human person.