The parable of the sower is timeless in that every generation can understand its imagery. People from the west of Ireland can particularly understand rocky ground! When St Paul preached to the Athenians they were very interested in what he had to say but it was from an academic point of view that they listened. The message of Christ crucified had no meaning for them. Nowadays the seed that fell among thorns has particular relevance. In the western world at least we have many distractions in the form of money, fashion, celebrity culture and media influence, to name but a few. In the midst of all of these the word of God can seem to many like a quaint side-show.
There are so many examples of seeds which fell in rich soil. Our Lady and many of the saints seem from birth to have nurtured the word of God so that they produced abundant fruit. For some it took longer. There was a story in the news about a rare orchid that had suddenly appeared in the lawn of Trinity College because it had ceased to be mowed. Perhaps this is symbolic of those where the seed lay dormant for many years before it germinated. Saints like Matthew, Paul and Ignatius would be examples. Every gardener knows that soil must be enriched to be fertile. We make ourselves open to the word of God from the example of others, by prayer and by reading of scripture.