God speaks and his word is efficacious; it accomplishes what it says. This is true, of course, in the primordial moment of creation: God says, “Let there be light,” and there is light. It affects what it says.
And the effect of God is always life, always “fertility and fruitfulness” as the prophet Isaiah says.
Why does God create? Is it out of need? No. God creates because he is diffusivum sui, diffusive of himself, bubbling over with joy and fecundity. He creates, as Vatican I says, in order to manifest his glory. He is effervescent, exuberant, over the top, playful and creative love. God is the gardener of being who sows, plants, and prunes.
We see this in Jesus’ magnificent parable of the sower and seed. In the Palestine of Jesus’ time, seed was, like water, a precious commodity. In the unforgiving soil and harsh climate, one was very careful with seed. Indeed, one’s life could very much depend on how the precious seed was sown.
And what does this farmer in Jesus’ parable do? Well, he sows wildly, liberally, and seemingly without care as to where the seed lands. He sows on the rocks, in the thorny ground, on the path—and in good soil.
So, Jesus implies, does God sow the seed of his gracious and redeeming love. God is not discriminating, capricious, or arbitrary. He is just always himself, sowing his love whether we are ready for it or not, whether we are good soil or not.
The good news here is that if we are the least bit open and receptive, this seed will take root in us. Just let God be God and you will come to life.
Bishop Robert Barron is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.