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Faith Daily | 26 January 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 530


O God,

the strength of all those who put their trust in you:

mercifully accept our prayers,

and because through the weakness of our mortal nature

we can do nothing good without you,

grant us the help of your grace,

that in keeping your commandments

we may please you both in will and deed;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 4: 1-20

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3“Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”


10When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12in order that


‘they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”


13And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Angela Back


We all know this parable, and the aptness of the symbol of seed. How closely Jesus observed the natural world and knew the value of good soil and the reality of life. I love the way Tom Wright writes of parables being like dreams in search of meanings. Sometimes we are haunted by dreams until we find a satisfactory meaning. Jesus was able to give his followers a satisfactory meaning or interpretation. The story of birds by the side of the road, of rocks, and thorns is told so that the incendiary nature of the message would not sweep them all away. Herod and the leaders of the religious establishment would find this meaning threatening. There is a price to be paid for looking and seeing. So Tom Wright’s other simile is appropriate. Parables are like cartoons. You have to know the code and in this case it’s a farming code. Cartoonists ‘get away with murder’ by telling the truth cryptically.

Of course, Jesus’ hearers have to pay attention, and open up to the words of life. Jesus uses the phrase ‘the mystery of God’s kingdom’ to go deeper with his inner group. The answer is given but reveals a deeper puzzle. How come the word of life grows within us till a Kingdom is established? Such faith Jesus invested in his followers. How amazing that you and I are entrusted with this. And how encouraging that as we open up to Jesus, the risen Christ, the process of becoming Kingdom people happens naturally. The seed needs the sun and the rain. We need the Spirit of God and Jesus.


FINAL PRAYER:


Lord Jesus, You give us Your Spirit. May we not ignore or trivialise Your message, or micro- manage the steps, but accept in faith that You work Your purposes within us. May we respond to Your nurture, and keep our eyes and ears open so that we may follow joyfully.

Amen.

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