Beginning a new chapter in Mark (4:1-20), we find Jesus teaching from a boat because of the vast crowd that came to hear Him. He gives them (and us) the Parable of the Sower in which He compares seed falling on a path, on rocky ground, amongst thorns, and in rich soil to His word being quickly taken away, being lost because not deeply rooted, being choked by worldly matters, and being accepted, respectively. Consider the throngs surrounding Jesus on that day and maybe many other days when He told this parable or similar ones. Also consider all of the billions who have heard this parable since then. What percentage, might we imagine, fall into each of the four categories? Christ’s message was and continues to be compelling. Look at how the crowds flocked to Him. Yet where were they on Good Friday? If not absent, they were shouting for His death, for the most part. A few lonely figures on Calvary holding vigil to a pulverized Man. Is the Word so deeply rooted in the rich soil of a grace-filled soul that we will be with Christ on our Good Fridays as well as on our Easter Sundays? Do we bear fruit for the Lord dozens of times over because of the deep conviction we have and a burning desire to evangelize? When we see Jesus ignored, set aside, or forgotten today do we try to increase the numbers with whom He comes in contact? When Jesus is being slapped, scourged, and crucified all over again do we cry “Stop and listen!”? Let us never miss an opportunity to invite others to be open to the Word. And by the example of Christ-like living, may we help enrich the soil of all who hear the Good News.