In the Gospel according to Mark, Christ talks about the sower of seeds. As he sowed, some seeds fell on a path, other seeds fell on rocky ground, while still more fell among thorns. Only the seeds that fell on fertile soil took root and produced fruit. As we get ready for Easter, let us think of Lent as a time to prepare our spiritual garden.
How do we get our garden ready for a new season? We clean out the weeds, we turn the soil, and we nourish it so that whatever we plant will flourish. In essence, the season of Lent gives us the opportunity to do the same for our souls. Lent is the time for us to clean out the weeds of doubt, make sacrifices, and nourish our souls with prayer, penance, and acts of charity. By doing so, we become fertile ground for the Word of God.
Our Most Beautiful Garden
Mary was and is the most beautiful garden. Her soul was clean — no stain of original sin, no weeds of doubt, no grubs or demons to torment her. Her soul was truly fertile and God planted the most precious seed of all in Our Lady so that we could share in God’s bounty. “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and … a bud shall blossom,” according to the prophet Isaiah [Isaiah 11:1], predicting the coming of Christ.
One could say that from Mary’s garden grew a strong tree with many branches that bore much fruit. Christ came into our world. His words and deeds reached out to many just as a tree extends its branches to give us shade during the summer heat and fruit during the harvest. Christ protects us from the devil and feeds our soul with the Holy Spirit so that we can be Christ-like in our daily living.
The Fruit of Our Labor
And as we prepare our spiritual garden, let us ask ourselves, “What do we want to see blossom, bloom, and grow?” A more prayerful life, a dedication to the Rosary, a closer relationship to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? What comes to fruition is our choice and will depend on how much time and effort we put into preparing our garden.
Truly our souls need tending and that is why we have the 40 days of Lent to focus on our preparation. Our spiritual garden can be beautiful if we make the effort. We can make it fertile for God to plant His seeds within us for a better life. Come Easter — a time of spiritual rebirth and renewal — our seeds will take root and their buds will break ground. Day by day we will see new growth and if we continue to tend to our garden, what we plant will grow strong and blossom into beautiful flowers and bear much fruit; all of which are God’s graces to be shared in the way we live, work and love.