Parables are stories. The word comes from the Greek root para-bola, meaning “to throw alongside”. The stories we tell can throw us together in collective suffering and solidarity.

Jesus told parables and “threw himself” alongside those who wanted to listen to him. He was close to their suffering. One story he tells is a story about seeds sown on different ground: some among thorns, some on dry ground, some on good soil.

We might think of the poor farmers around the world, whose livelihoods and families are suffering from the effects of climate change and the global pandemic.

We may also think of the story for our own lives, which may seem during certain times like unfruitful soil, perhaps because of the challenges that lie ahead.

On the seventh day of the week, religious people may celebrate the Sabbath. A word that comes from the Hebrew Shabbat that means “to cease or rest”.

Perhaps it is time to cease today and step back. Time to reflect on the soil in your own life at the moment and how you want to cultivate it over the coming weeks and months?