Seeds in Shallow Soil: Finding Fertile Ground

As an ordinand, a Franciscan tertiary, and a theology student, my days are steeped in scripture. Today, three passages resonated deeply, weaving a tapestry of challenge and hope. In 2 Samuel 12, Nathan confronts David with the harsh truth of his sin. Psalm 24 speaks of the King of Glory seeking entrance, but only through the gates of righteousness. And in Mark 4, Jesus’ parable of the sower highlights the varied outcomes of the seeds scattered on different soils.

Each passage held a mirror to my own heart. Have I, like David, sown seeds of discord and reaped the bitter harvest of sin’s consequences? Do I stand, self-righteous, at the gate, barring entry to the King of Glory with my own shortcomings? And how fertile is the soil of my own soul? Are the seeds of God’s word finding root in shallow, rocky ground, destined to wither under the sun’s heat, or have I cultivated a heart like rich, tilled earth, ready to receive and nurture the divine?

The Franciscan emphasis on creation offers a path forward. As St. Francis reminds us, “All creatures are our brothers and sisters.” This includes the very soil beneath our feet, the ground that cradles life and sustains us. Tending to this sacred earth, respecting its rhythms, and nurturing its fertility becomes an act of worship, a way of preparing the ground to receive the seeds of God’s love.

So, what does this look like in practice? For me, it starts with small steps. Spending time in nature, feeling the earth beneath my bare feet, listening to the wind rustle through the leaves. It’s offering a prayer of gratitude for the life-giving soil, for the sun that warms it, and for the rain that nourishes it. It’s choosing to grow my own food and food for the needy, composting kitchen scraps, and learning about sustainable gardening practices. These acts, however small, cultivate a deeper connection to the earth and open my heart to the transformative power of God’s word.

Action: Today, I invite you to join me in tending the fertile ground within and around us. Take a walk in nature, plant a seed, or simply offer a prayer of gratitude for the earth. Let’s create a world where the seeds of God’s love find fertile ground to flourish, bearing fruit that nourishes all creation.


God of all Creation,
Grant me the wisdom to tend the soil of my heart,
To remove the rocks of pride and fear,
And nurture the fertile ground of love and compassion.
May the seeds of your word find root within me,
Growing strong and tall,
Bearing fruit that blesses the world.
In the name of Christ, the sower of seeds, Amen.

I hope this reflection encourages you on your own journey of growth and transformation. Remember, even the smallest seeds, nurtured with love and care, can blossom into something beautiful.

May God bless you on your path,

Vanda tssf

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