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Examine Scripture

Parable of Sowing Seeds

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Finding the Right Soil…

In Matthew 13, Christ shares with us one of His most famous parables:

“And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some 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. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.'”  -Matthew 13:3-8, NAB

While I generally do not like to repeat the same verse that was used in that day’s mass, the message from today was important enough that I want it to really hit home in the minds and hearts of whoever reads this.  The main purpose of Waking Up Catholic is to help those going through RCIA and “cradle Catholics” trying to reawaken their faith to grow in their faith.  This message is at the root of Waking Up Catholic’s purpose (pun intended).

Our lives are the soil that Christ plants His seed.  Unfortunately, because of our sinful nature, our soil is not naturally the best soil for Christ to work with.  Like anyone who has worked in a garden can tell you, a lot of work must be put into the soil before the first seed is planted.  For us to be fully receptive of the love of Christ, we must put a great deal of work into our hearts to give a place for Christ’s love to grow.

In His parable, Christ mentioned three types of soil that were not fit for growing.  First some of the seed simply feel along the path, this seed never took root.  Many people have hard hearts that never allow the love of Christ to take root in their lives.  Unfortunately in today’s society, these “paths” are growing, and Christ is finding it harder and harder to take root in the lives of many.  Other seed fell into rocky ground, and it had very short roots.  If Christ cannot establish deep roots within our heart, our faith will not endure the hardships that will come.  Living out our faith through the bare minimums will not give us sufficient roots.  Shallow roots and shallow faith will only lead us to destruction.  The last example he gave told of seed that fell among thorns like faith that is choked by sin.  Even with deep roots, our faith cannot truly grow if it is being held back by our sinful nature.  To grow to our full potential, we must tend our garden and get rid of the roots; we must tend our lives and get rid of the sin.

The seed that has fallen on good soil, on soil that has been cultivated to be fully accepting of Christ’s full love and mercy, will produce great fruits.  Personally, I can attest to the great fruits I have seen in my life when I cultivated my heart.  At the same time, I can tell you of the destruction that came when I failed to maintain it.  Like a garden, we must work hard to keep our lives in a cultivated state.  We must continually prime our hearts to receive Christ.  We must pull out the rocks in the hardness of our hearts.  And, we must remove the thorns and weeds of our sin that threaten to choke out His mercy.  Only through diligent work will our lives be always ready for the Lord.

Are you seeing good fruits in your life?  The work may seem hard, but it is well worth it.  There are times that my back hurts from laboring in my garden.  Other times, my fingers are raw from pulling out the thorns and weeds.  It may not be an easy thing to do, but tending the garden of our hearts is one of the most important things we will do.  Like a set of garden tools, Christ gives us the tools to tend our garden.  Prayer, fasting, worship, and the Sacraments are just a few of the tools that He gives us.  Work diligently in your garden, and springtime will bring beautiful flowers and luscious fruits.

Have you been tending the garden of your heart?  What does your garden look like?  Are you seeing much fruit?  These simple questions may be some of the most important questions you will ever answer.

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