Daily Reflection – Jan 27, 2016
Wednesday 27 January 2016
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:4-17
For ever I will keep my love for him
Psalm 88(89):4-5, 27-30
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:1-20
Today’s Saint: St Timothy & St Titus; St Angela Merici
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.”
Hear this! (Mark 4:3)
When a naval commander issues urgent or serious information, he barks out, “Now hear this!” It means stop what you’re doing, and listen carefully to what follows.
Jesus uses strikingly similar words in today’s Gospel reading. He wants everyone listening to pay careful attention to what he is about to say: “A sower went out to sow …” (Mark 4:3).
Perhaps you’ve wondered which group you belong in: the footpath, rocky ground, thorny soil, or rich soil. But Jesus wasn’t establishing a hierarchy of spirituality. All three of the first types of soil proved equally unhealthy to the seed. No, Jesus wanted to tell his hearers that in the kingdom of God, everyone’s life can be rich soil. Those outside the kingdom receive everything “in parables,” God’s gentle nudges intended to move them toward the kingdom (Mark 4:2). But those who have entered the kingdom have the capacity to receive insights about God that remain hidden from those who have yet to embrace the Lord.
Your life is rich soil! It has been prepared—by your training in the faith, your reception of the sacraments, and your prayer life—to receive the “seed” that falls on it, and to produce fruit. Do you hear the word of God? Well, accept it wholeheartedly the best you can, and allow the Holy Spirit to make it bear fruit in your life. When you become aware of how you may fall short, declare: “My life is rich soil.” Then ask the Holy Spirit to fertilize that area of your life so that it begins to bear fruit.
Ask the Lord to sow seeds of patience, gentleness, or peace in you. Ask him to provide you with whatever will cause these seeds to grow. Moments of kindness, flashes of wisdom or understanding, impulses to show hospitality—these are not random events. They are evidence that your life is good soil.
So when any Scripture passage resonates in you or stirs your heart, hear this. Heed it and dwell on it. You are more than capable of bearing rich fruit!
“Jesus, help me to hear your word and accept it with all my heart so that I will bear fruit for you.”