Lord, You are God over all. Today I quiet myself before You. I am listening, expecting to hear You speak to me.
 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.  Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Reflect: Can you picture the scene in today’s story?
Jesus tells this parable to a large crowd from an unusual pulpit (2). He describes a sower working in his field–a common sight to the people of Israel. No rain falls in the land during the summer months from May to September, so the ground becomes hard. Farmers wait for the early rains to soften the ground around the end of October, and then they till the soil.
The plow used in those days (and indeed still today by peasant farmers) was made up of a wooden stick with a small metal point. It was usually pulled by two oxen joined by a yoke. The blade dug into the ground, creating a furrow and breaking up the soil. The farmer then walked back along the freshly turned soil. This time he scattered the seed with a sweeping motion. He then plowed the field once more, or he dragged a branch over the soil, to cover the seed and prevent the birds getting to it.
Jesus uses this picture to teach the people a spiritual lesson. What seed do you think he was really speaking about (Luke 8:11)? Which do you think is the key element in this story–the seed or the soil?
Ask God to show you how you can best prepare your heart to be receptive when the seed comes your way.
Father, thank You for Your Word that contains life. Help me to prepare my heart so that I will be good soil.