I’m All Ears?

How Context Helps (Mark 4:3) – Grace Evangelical Society
Daily Reflection – 1/27/2021

Sacred Scripture

On another occasion, Jesus 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 roots; 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)

Reflection

There is a story of three men deer-hunting—a doctor, a lawyer and a preacher. Each shot the same big buck at exactly the same time. A heated debate follows about whose shot actually killed the deer.

A game officer comes by, takes a look at the buck and confidently announces he knows whose shot. “It was the preacher who got the buck!” “What? How do you know?!” The other two demand.  The officer says, “Easy. The bullet went in one ear and out the other.”

Is that us? In today’s Gospel, Mark highlights the importance of hearing nine times. It’s at the heart of Jesus’ parable of the sower.

The human heart is like a field that can, at different times, be open or closed. The word of God comes to us as we are, with our faults and failings, our gifts and talents. We bear fruit each in our own way at our own time.

Some folks hear Jesus but their hearts are hard-packed. The seed never penetrates at all. Other folks hear Jesus and get excited about Him but when trouble comes, they bail. The third soil really stings. Here the word penetrates and deeply, but just as deep as other cares and worries. The word has competition and loses out to the other concerns of our heart. Those concerns choked out faith in Him.

Then there are those whose mind is open. At all times, they are willing to listen and to learn. He or she is never too proud or too busy to learn. They listen in order to understand. God gives grace to those who hunger for his word that they may understand his will and have the strength to live according to it.

Fruit comes as we hear and heed the Word, over all other words clamoring in our life.

Truly listening to the word of God is assimilating the message into our thinking, our words and our actions. Once a way of seeing life becomes part of us, then our behavior will want to act accordingly. We will not have to force ourselves to act. This is the freedom that comes with being one with Christ and his way.

Each of us has to answer the questions:  Which soil am I? Is that the soil I want to be?

Prayer of The Day

“Dear God, strengthen my heart to become the rich soil that hears Your Word, understands it, puts it into practice and action and finally bears for You abundant yield according to Your Holy Will”

Daily Note

The human heart is like a field that can, at different times, be open or closed. The word of God comes to us as we are, with our faults and failings, our gifts and talents. We bear fruit each in our own way at our own time.

Prayer is the measure to introduce us to the word of God. Prayer takes time, and by allowing God’s word to echo in our minds and hearts, it takes root and then bears fruit in life. Take a sentence or two from the gospel today, or even a word, and allow it be ‘your word’ for today. Like a bar of music, it can echo within you all day. The word of God will bear its fruit in you.

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