Just like Sunday’s reading from Isaiah (and about all of the other readings from Isaiah), this Sunday’s Gospel has more than one level of meaning.
The Gospel has Jesus teaching a large crowd, and begins with the familiar story of the sower. Instead of planting seeds in the ground and covering them up with soil, sowing (also called broadcasting) involves throwing seeds on top of the area where you want the plants to grow.
In Jesus’ story, the sower throws seeds all over the place – on the path, on rocky ground, in the thorns, and on good soil. If you were trying to get grass to grow on your lawn, this would be like running your grass seed spreader on the sidewalk, in the gravel at the edge of the road, in the bushes by the fence, and (just for fun) actually on your lawn.
On its face, this is the story of an incredibly bad sower who wastes more seed than he successfully plants. But then, in response to their questions, Jesus explains the meaning of the story to the Apostles. More on that meaning tomorrow.