Some seed fell on rich soil. 

“A sower went out to sow” (Mark 4:3). This classic parable is no doubt familiar to our ears. So let’s try to look at it from a different angle. Let’s consider how it can apply within us—so that we can improve our “inner soil.”

Think about a farmer tending his fields. In order for seed to bear the greatest yield, he has to do a lot of preparation—digging up rocks and pulling out brambles, turning over packed-down soil, maybe analyzing the soil to see what nutrients it needs. In the same way, we can prepare the soil of our heart so that it’s more receptive to the seeds of God’s word.

First, clear the field. Ask the Spirit to help you uncover any rocks or thorny brambles. Are there some areas of the Christian life where you cannot seem to sink deep roots? It’s possible that a recurring vice or a worldly way of thinking is thwarting your growth. Perhaps it’s a long-standing resentment or another area of your life in which the gospel does not guide your actions.

Next, fertilize the field. Jesus led by example in always turning to his Father, especially before important actions. Follow his example by spending time in prayer and reading Scripture each day—that’s where you can connect with Jesus and receive the nourishment you need to bear spiritual fruit. He said it himself: “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The graces of the Eucharist and Confession are also a powerful fertilizer. You might be surprised by how attending a weekday Mass can help you become a more peaceful, loving person.

These efforts please the Lord because you are making an effort to receive his love—which is his greatest desire. But it’s not all about what you do. God goes before you, sowing seeds and watering them, sight unseen. Even your hard work and preparation are the result of his grace at work within you.

The promise of this parable is that “a sower went out to sow” (Mark 4:3). Imagine the harvest of love and good works that will grow as you open your heart to receive the word God has already sown in you.

“Like a parched land, my soul thirsts for you, Lord.”

Hebrews 10:11-18
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 4:1-20


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