Is55:10-11 Rom 8:18-23 Matt 13:1-23
Today’s Gospel included the parable of the seeds that fall on different kinds of ground. Some are rocky or thorn-filled, and the tiny seeds die. Others are fertile ground and the tender plants grow into a bountiful harvest. We tend to spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the seeds and the plants, and not a lot of time thinking on the dirt.
My grandparents were farmers, and if I learned anything from them, it was that the conditions of the dirt can be changed. Rocks can be excavated, thorns weeded out, and nutrients can be added to soil which is over-worked and worn-out; so that even the most barren fields can be made arable again.
This is such good news for all of us.
The conditions of our souls when the “seeds” of faith fall upon us, like the state of the soil, can be changed with work and a sense of purpose. Becoming a place where the Word of God can take deep root and grow tall, is a matter of effort and intention. We have to cultivate our souls, digging out the bitterness and resentments in life which poison our souls, removing the anger and deeply-rooted sins, and nourishing them with prayer, fasting, and study.
Allowing our Faith to grow within us and evangelizing others isn’t a passive thing or a matter of chance. We’re not merely to scatter seeds indiscriminately and then let the newly sprouted faith struggle to survive on its own. We need to cultivate it, creating a rich and fertile environment for it to grow and blossom, weeding out the things which would strangle it or steal its ability to grow. We need to tend our souls with the loving husbandry of a master gardener so that they become a bountiful harvest. Only then can our own seeds of faith be healthy and strong enough to find root in the lives of those around us.
photo credit By شهریار (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons