Daily Reflection – 1/30/2019
On another occasion he began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that ´they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.´” Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”( Mark 4:1-20)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus was at the seashore and was teaching his disciples. However, a large crowd of people began to gather around Jesus. The crowd grew so large that Jesus got into a boat and began to teach the people from the boat.
One of the parables is very familiar to us: the parable of the sower and the seed. As we know, some of seed fell on the path and the birds swooped down and ate the seeds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground. And although these seeds sprouted quickly, soon the plants withered since the roots were not being nourished by the soil. Then there was the seed that fell on good ground. These seeds sprouted and eventually produced an abundant crop.
The parable can stir many questions within us. How do I receive Jesus’ word? Is the soil of my heart rocky? Does the soil of my heart allow Jesus’ word to settle into depths of my soul or do I only listen to Jesus’ word and stay on a superficial level with it? Do I strive to internalize the word that Jesus speaks to me? Do I sit patiently and quietly with Jesus until I am able to hear his word?
It is easy to read the Gospel. However, to pray with the Gospel requires time, attention, and an open heart. Today will we simply “read” the Gospel or will we take Jesus’ words to heart and ponder them? It is our choice!
Prayer of The Day
Lord, thank you for showing me how to bear fruit in my life. I want to imitate your surrender to the Father. I know that this requires a constant effort to go deeper in my life and be submissive to the Holy Spirit. Help me to live as a giver, not a taker. Your love will always be there to accompany me.
This week may the Word take root in our lives. If we allow it to penetrate beneath the surface, we will begin to find ourselves, and find the areas of ourselves which seemed lost or broken, abandoned or forgotten, “unplugged” or “turned off” to the transforming power of God.