Matthew 13:23: "But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’"
Whenever I read the parable of the sower and the seeds I find myself hoping and praying that I will be the "good soil" that Jesus describes. And don't we all want to be the good soil? Perhaps this time of isolation is the perfect time to cultivate some good soil in our hearts and souls. But how do we cultivate "good soil" in our hearts and souls? If we break this passage down, we see there are several components to being good soil:
1. We hear the word: To hear the word necessitates listening - actually spending time in prayer and with God's Word (the logos). We can do this by reading Scripture, participating in worship, praying the Daily Office, and simply listening and looking for God in the world around as well as in the silence (among other things). Where do you hear God?
2. We understand the word: We gain understanding of God's Word as we prayerfully listen, study, ponder, and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance. We can be assisted in our understanding in many ways - through commentaries, listening to sermons, taking classes, talking to others, participaing in Bible Studies (even online), and by utilizing other study tools and books written by trusted authors. What helps your understanding?
3. These lead to bearing a "harvest": Our hearts and souls are fed and fertilized by hearing and understanding the word and this leads to bearing fruit - a plentiful spiritual harvest that includes the fruits of the Spirit, good deeds, wisdom and insight, and the following of God's will for our lives. What fruit do you want to bear?
Thanks be to God for opportunities and assistance in cultivating good soil in our hearts and souls.