Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Matthew 13:18-23
Jean Francois Millet’s painting, The Sower, is the image that comes to my mind when I read the parable by the same name in today’s gospel passage.
When viewing the painting, our eye is drawn to the seeds being cast from the farmer’s hand to the earth below. The suspended movement of these seeds in mid-air brings a sense of anticipation for their destination. Where will they land? Will they take root and grow into thriving crops for harvest?
I feel this same sense of anticipation when I read this gospel parable. Will that seed—that word of God—take root in our hearts? What kind of soil is awaiting it? Sometimes our hearts resemble barren soil; we are unprepared for the enemy’s primary method of stealing God’s word: distraction. Our lives are so full of it. How many times when God speaks, do we allow many distractions to stomp down the earth of our hearts into hard-packed paths, entirely unreceptive to seeds? Other times our hearts are like rocky ground, unprepared for the long-term care and application of God’s word. We like what we initially hear from God and receive it with joy; but it dies soon, because we haven’t cultivated the soil. Still other times, many times, we allow the pleasures or the cares of the world to grow freely; and God’s word cannot live among such thorns.
Whether we’ve nurtured worldly comforts or given free rein to worry, both choke out God’s word in our souls. But, here’s the hopeful anticipation: that we would be cultivating good soil, that our hearts would be ready to hear and quick to obey. If our hearts are soft, free of rocks that block roots or thorns that choke healthy plants, then God’s word grows strong…and bears much fruit.
What kind of soil does my heart resemble: hard-packed earth, rock-filled dirt, a garden of thorns, or soft and rich soil?
Lord, help me cooperate with Your grace to cultivate a heart where Your word can take root and bear fruit.
Copyright 2020 Jessica Ptomey
About the Author
Jessica Ptomey is a Catholic convert, wife, mom, writer, communications scholar and professor, and homeschooler. She blogs at JessicaPtomey.com. She is the author of Home in the Church: Living an Embodied Catholic Faith, and her research in inter-faith dialogue has been published in the Journal of Communication and Religion (JCR). She is also the co-host, with her husband Mike, of The Catholic Reading Challenge podcast.