Third Thursday of Advent – Matthew 13:3-9


And [Jesus] 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!”



In our urban, technological society, we don’t often think about the quality of the soil or the importance of healthy land. Many of us have access to the foods we want no matter what time of year it is. For this reason, the metaphor of seeds falling on different types of soil doesn’t fully hit home. 


In Jesus’ ancient agrarian society, the relationship between the people and the earth (what they called “creation”) carried immense weight. Not only were the people dependent on the quality of the soil for their survival, but they were also commanded by their God to care for the earth. Healthy land was a matter of physical and religious importance. 


In today’s reading, Jesus draws a connection between the ability of the soil to receive a seed and the openness of a person’s heart to receive his good news about the kingdom of God. Just as good soil produced grain a hundredfold, so the heart and mind open to his message of newness would yield abundance. 


Just as the people were dependent on the land and were charged with caring for it, so too, Jesus says, are they charged with caring for the quality and openness of their hearts, where the good news of the kingdom of God will be sown.


In Advent, we are invited to cultivate our own hearts and minds so that they are ready to receive the seeds of peace, hope, joy, and love that God is sowing in our lives. We anticipate the day when those seeds which we have cared for will sprout and yield a hundredfold!  


  • How can you recognize the seeds that God is planting in your life?


  • How can you care for and cultivate the “soil of your heart”?