Spiritual growth, like physical growth, does not end at birth. It continues to grow. And, it too needs a proper environment and constant nourishment to flourish. So, seed, soil, water, food all turn a seed into a thriving plant; all make a life. A spiritual life needs to be born first and then it needs to be nurtured to grow and thrive. A life and heart of each human being must be fed and nurtured just like the body to live and grow.
The parable of this Sunday’s Gospel lesson (Luke 8:5-15) tells us that much seed is lost when falling into unreceptive soil. Whether it falls by the wayside, on the rocks, or among the thorns and weeds, it doesn’t take. The seed is the word of God. The soil is us, the human person. However, when seed and soil connect and interact properly, astonishing growth occurs.
The seed is the word of God. The soil is us, the human person. Are we hardened ground, rocks, thorns or weeds? Or are we taking care to be a receptive soil. It is the Church that gives us the environment and the tools to nurture and care for our soil. Within her Tradition, we find voluminous guidance on Christian living and prayer. All we need to do is explore the Tradition for that which will be most useful to our personal spiritual growth.
The parable of the Sower and the Seeds has a positive and hopeful message. It teaches us that the good soil produces a hundredfold! An honest and good heart is evidence of good soil. That is what we want. With an honest and good heart we will have a blessed and full life; a life equipped to deal with life’s hardships and losses; a life able to fully appreciate and celebrate all the joys that come our way; a life able to truly discern what is good from what is evil; a life worth living.