Soil of the Soul

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it.

Matthew 13:23

The Parable that Grew on Me
The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds is one that I’ve heard numerous times throughout my life. I’ve heard it at Mass multiple times, and I listened to several homilies on it. I learned about it in Catholic elementary school, and I read and taught about it in Bible Studies. Instead of letting it become stale, I try to find something new in it every time I read or hear it.

I used to wonder how the Sower could be so careless, tossing his precious seeds and not caring where they land. But the Lord does this on purpose. He knows that not everyone is like the good soil, yet in his generosity and love, he scatters it to everyone anyway.

Jesus goes on to describe how we may react to the word when it’s scattered our way. We might let the enemy take it away if we don’t understand it. We might let the “Jesus high” wear off before the word can take root. We might let the thorns of school, work, relationships, addictions, and other distractions choke out the word. Or we might let the word pierce our hearts, take root in us, and allow us to bear fruit for its Sower.

Tilling our Soil
Especially during Lent, we strive to improve the soil of our souls. This penitential season of spiritual renewal gives us a valuable opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. We unite our sacrifices and sufferings to those of Christ for our own good and to intercede for others. “Lent” actually means “spring,” which is appropriate because we prepare for Christ’s Resurrection, which occurs when spring has sprung and nature is teeming with life again. However, before this happens, we have to plow, till, and fertilize our own soil until it’s prepared to bear fruit and bring forth the life that only Christ can give.

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Throughout Lent
As Lent approaches, consider the condition of your soil. Keep checking on it throughout this season. Don’t let the enemy prevent you from participating fully in Lent before it even begins. I recommend making a plan for Lent by writing down what you’ll fast from, when and how you’ll pray, and how you’ll give alms. Stay strong after the initial excitement of Ash Wednesday and the first week of Lent wears off. Avoid distractions and temptations as they creep up on you. Pray for the grace to do these things well and to try again when you fall. Remember the reasons why you’re sacrificing this Lent. The Lord will work in you and bless you as you deepen your relationship with him during this solemn season.

He’s ready to scatter his seeds. Are you ready to plant them in your soul?

Stay radiant!

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