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January 24, 2018 Featured

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dglogoGospel: Mk 4:1-20
     Again, Jesus began to teach by the lake; but such a large crowd gathered about him, that he got into a boat and sat in it on the lake, while the crowd stood on the shore. He taught them many things through parables. In his teaching he said, “Listen! The sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some of the seed fell along a path; and the birds came and ate it up. Some of the seed fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil; it sprang up immediately, because it had no depth; but when the sun rose and burned it, it withered, because it had no roots. Some of the seeds fell among thorn bushes; and the thorns grew and choked it; so it didn’t produce any grain. But some seeds fell on goodsoil, grew and increased and yielded grain; some seeds produced thirty times as much, some sixty, and some one hundred times as much.” And Jesus added, “Listen then, if you have ears.”

     When the crowd went away, some who were around him with the Twelve asked about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But for those outside, everything comes in parables, so that, the more they see, they don’t perceive; the more they hear, they don’t understand; otherwise they would be converted and pardoned.”
     Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How, then, will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those along the path, where the seed fell, are people who hear the word, but as soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Other people receive the word like rocky ground. As soon as they hear the word, they accept it with joy. But they have no roots, so it lasts only a little while. No sooner does trouble or persecution come because of the word, than they fall. Others receive the seed, as seed among thorns. After they hear the word. they are caught up in the worries of this life, false hopes of riches and other desires. All these come in and choke the word, so that finally it produces nothing.
And there are others who receive the word as good soil. They hear the word, take it to heart and produce: some thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred times as much.”

Reflections
WHAT KIND OF A GROUND ARE WE?
     The parable of the sower has been read by people throughout the ages. Certainly there are nuances of meaning in different contexts — agricultural, urban, industrial, technical, cyber, but the meaning remains: THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF RECEIVING THE WORD OF GOD. In our times, who could be the Satan that plucks the word of God out of our hearts — would it be the love of money, prestige, power? What about the people who at first receive the word of God with joy but since they have no roots, the seed dies. What are our roots — good family life, religious education, fidelity in prayer? What are the thorns that choke up the life of the seed — worries about our loss of power, loss of material things, loss of our positions of influence? Then there is the good soil. What makes soil good? Could it be radical openness to what the word demands from us? Couldit be fidelity to this word amid temptations, challenges, difficulties, suffering and misery? Could it be nourishment through prayer, sacrifice and service to people?Lord, please give me first of all the gift of listening with the ear of my heart. Help me to understand what your word is telling me at the moment. Give me the courage to do what you are asking from me in spite of obstacles and difficulties. And finally, grant that when the seed grows in me and bears fruit, help me to share it with others in compassion and love. Amen.

 

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