Faith Daily | 27 January 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 530
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: 21-25
21 He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? 22For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ 24And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 25For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Hilary Bell
In the compact gospel of Mark, chapter 4 is devoted to the parables Jesus taught and to the explanations to His disciples of their purpose and meaning. These verses sit between the parable of the sower and the parable to the growing seed with the images of planting seed, and with the right conditions, growing and bearing fruit of a plentiful harvest. Verse 23 “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” echoes Verse 9. Clearly Jesus wanted his followers to pay attention.
Most commentators interpret the story of the lamp as a straightforward instruction for Christians to shine their lights brightly by living lives filled with love, hope, joy and mercy, expressing faith in action.
The next few verses 22- 25 seem less clear, with rather puzzling turns of phrase “nothing hidden except to be disclosed; nothing secret except to come to light” and “the measure you give will be the measure you are given and still more will be given” “to those who have, more will be given: from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away”. Simple parables, indeed?
As I reflect on the parables I have heard since childhood I never cease to wonder at how they continue to reveal new insights to me and to others at different life stages and in different experiences. When I allow myself to truly read, listen and learn, a light is indeed shone upon circumstances through the Word, more is revealed, previously hidden meanings come to light, new perspectives come into view. More is indeed given. If I skim over the parables dismissively as simple agrarian illustrations I do not allow their richness to impact: even the possibility of simple life instruction is lost.
FINAL PRAYER: David Adam “Glimpses of Glory”
Grant, O gracious God,
that we not only hear your word,
but understand it and receive it into our hearts;
that we not only receive it,
but reveal it in our lives
by living up to our calling
and to your praise and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.