That is an interesting question, isn’t it?  I ask it because the topic of plowing comes up in both the First Reading and the Gospel today, which is certainly very unusual. I, while I never considered myself to be a prolific plowman, have plowed a few fields in my day, so I feel like I can say a little something on the topic.  It is an activity which requires focus, yet which can be very relaxing as well. It takes a lot of time and patience. Plowing is not an end in itself, but it must be done before the planting can take place. No field can ever plow itself, nor can plowing ever be undone. A field cannot be “unplowed.” Once one field is plowed there are only two choices. One can either stop plowing altogether, or move on to another field. And by the way, plowing is real work.  Jesus shows us in today’s Gospel that He knows something about plowing as well.  He actually compares plowing to discipleship. Jesus says that if we are going to follow Him, our lives will change and we can never look back, we can only look forward. As Jesus says, and I know from experience, one never plows in a straight line if he/she keeps looking back over where the plow has just been, and it is so very tempting to do just that.  The only way to plow in a straight line is to keep one’s eyes focused in a forward direction. Likewise, the only way to be a disciple is to keep our eyes focused on Him. Jesus is not static, He keeps moving.  If we keep looking back to former ways of life we will lose sight of Him.  Becoming a true follower of Jesus is not a whimsical proposition. It is a serious choice which can only be made after much practical thought and much prayer.  And a little background in plowing just might help us in our discernment process.

AuthorCathy Remick