JAN 27. ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 3. WED. MK. 4. 1-20
Updated: Jul 24
Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’
Clearly, the centrepiece of this reading is the seed, representing our Faith, and providing for its needs! What Christ is pointing out to us here is there are multiple circumstances where the seed cannot flourish, or even worse, where it cannot survive!
“The secret of the Kingdom is given to you!” This is what the seed represents and we need to value this Divine Gift that has been “given” to us via our Faith.
Christ describes obstacles that we have to overcome including “having no roots”; - “growing among thorns”; - “falling on rocks” etc, but the one he nominates first is “Satan comes and carries away the word that was given them!”
All of these obstacles have one goal; - to have us give our hearts to: “the attractions of the world” rather than to “The God who created us out of Love!” When it is put like that it shows how blind we are, given we know “the world is passing away” and “our hearts are made for God”; - not for the world!
Our own experience reinforces this truth, as “Love of the World” is brief and transitory; - while “Love of God” is something we can experience, not only now, but also in eternal life; - which is why we need to heed today’s scripture and put the care of our Faith before everything else!
Gospel Acclamation 1S3:9,Jn6:68
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.