That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.
But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”
The Gospel reading today seems to speak to me in my roles as home owner/gardener and parent to my two young children, as well as to other areas of my life. The parable of the sower and the seed causes me to marvel at the abundance of fertile soil in my yard (as evidenced by the prolific weeds in the garden!). The compost and summer rain showers help, but how and why are the conditions on the ground in my yard so rich and life-giving?
I also wonder the same about my life. Do I create, till and nurture the ground to raise seeds that will produce sixty or thirtyfold? Where might I have some scorched or thorny areas, or shallow soil in my daily, routine, and “ordinary” events of this liturgical season?
How did Saints Joachim and Anne, whose feast we celebrate today, tend and create rich soil in raising their daughter Mary? May our nurturing God teach us to create rich soil for his abundance.
God of our fathers, you gave Saints Anne and Joachim the privilege of being the parents of Mary, the mother of your incarnate Son. May their prayers help us to attain the salvation you have promised to your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
—Collect from the Roman Missal, © 1973
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