Today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 13:18-23) finds Jesus talking about parables – stories – to help us relate. In reading this scripture today, I can’t help but think of gardening once again with the parable of the sower.
Many years ago my husband and I had a greenhouse. There were two great things about being in the greenhouse through the winter: one, we loved the smell of moist soil and second, the sun would heat it up and warm us to the bone as it came in through the plastic roof. We watched the sprouting of seeds on our makeshift water-bed turned germination-tent. We tended and re-potted the growing flowers and vegetables until we handed the bountiful plants off to happy customers. Did we have our share of troubles in growing? Yes we did.
We had to use good soil. We would start with a high quality grade and then add in vermiculite and perlite. Buying cheap soil usually meant it wouldn’t hold up – it could get hard or weeds would pop up along with seed; sometimes the seed wouldn’t germinate at all. My Benny always said, build a rich soil and the plants will love it – it’s half the battle to winning when we start this way. Early in our gardening days we would try different types and lower our costs but it never paid off. Rich soil produced abundant fruit and flowers.
If I don’t have a good prayer life with a daily examen, I’m using poor soil for Jesus’ word to grow in. I have to take time to invest in what will produce fruit in me – daily mental prayer and examen, daily scripture reading, attending Mass and receiving the sacraments often. My apostolate community and parish help me with this; they are like minded people seeking the kingdom of God here and now. Like the soil I amended to make rich, I also have to amend my life regularly to grow in charity and love. I am grateful for all those family and friends who water my soul by including me in their life in both the joyful and sorrowful times. Lord, you give us the flowers and the trees, the birds and the bees. You give us everything we need. Help us to take these things and use them to glorify you Lord. Help us to build up your kingdom as your will leads us to do.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”