Our lives and our faith are like seeds, and how well they grow depends on the soil we plant them in:
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” -Mark 4:3-8, NAB
The first seed in this parable fell on the path which represents the ways of the world. On rocky, infertile ground, the seed could not take root and failed to grow. Eventually, it was swallowed up. In the same way, the secular world makes it impossible for us to grow in faith, and we will eventually be swallowed up by it. If we try to stay with the status quo of this world, we will surely never grow.
Next, seed fell on rocky soil and was not able to take root in any real depth. While it began to grow, it quickly withered. Our faith, like this seed, will not be able to grow deep roots if we are not on fertile ground. As quickly as we spring up, we will wither away. Strong faith is important, but do not let it burn out too quickly. Focus on developing deep roots for your faith through prayer, regular Scripture reading, and speaking with spiritual mentors.
Then, some of the sower’s seed fell among thorns and was choked, in the same way that sin chokes our faith. The seed had the opportunity to begin growing, but the thorns overcame the plant like a weed. Sin is a weed in our life, and it will quickly overcome any attempt at spiritual growth. If we do not weed the sin out of our lives, there is little hope for us. We must leave our sinful ways behind.
Finally, the seed that fell on rich soil was able to grow and produce much fruit. Not only did it grow, but it yielded “thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” In other words, the growth was enormous. When we allow our spiritual life to take root on the rich soil of a pure heart committed to Christ, there are no bounds to our growth. Jesus can completely transform our lives into a fruitful, wonderful existence – we simply need to sow the seeds in the right soil.
Through the Catholic Church, we can plant the seeds of faith in the rich soil of our wonderful Sacraments – allowing our life to blossom and produce much fruit. Have you sown the seeds of your life on fertile soil?