Be Fruitful

Mark 4: 1-20
2 Sam 7: 4-17 / Psa 89

Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown.
(Mark 4:15)

The ministry of God’s Kingdom
Has been sown in hearts that believed;
A mystery which time has come;
Make known God’s Word we have received.

As Jesus began to teach by the lake, the crowd that gathered around Him was so large that He got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. “Listen!” He said. “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” When He was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ” Then Jesus said to them, “Do you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop–thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” (Mark 4: 1-20)

Reflection

Let the beautiful words of our Lord Jesus sink deep as we reflect on them, and may they take root in our hearts so that our minds and feelings may be transformed, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit may be ours to enjoy and share with others. We cannot afford to ignore the teachings of Christ as they have come to us through Scriptures and the teachings of our Catholic Church, lest we risk our souls being snatched away by the evil one because we have wandered into the paths of the worldly and unholy. St. Peter warns us in his letter, “Be sober and vigilant. Your adversary, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet.5:8).

Satan too is planting his own seeds in this world to keep us from receiving the Word of God. These are the weeds of pride, self-indulgence, complacency, disobedience, disillusion, persecution, boredom, impatience, hatred, lust, and all the other sins alongside of which the Word of God can never take root, much less bear fruit. Those who pride themselves in their self-sufficiency because of their wealth or influence find no time to meditate on the gospel values of Jesus Christ. Too preoccupied with the business of making money and indulging their carnal passions, the teachings of Christ and His Church bear no relevance to their lifestyle. At the other end of the scale are the people who have lost hope because of the world’s persecution. They are disillusioned by the perceived failures of the Church, the government, or their own families or businesses. Driven by hatred, they no longer read or hear God’s call, and they abandon their faith altogether. Some of them even resort to crime and/or rape. But the most subtle weed that we must guard against is complacency. We cannot be comfortable about “being saved” just because we believe that Jesus is our Lord, and we are “not hurting anybody”. Jesus wants us to grow and be fruitful. This means understanding the Word of God, letting it live in our hearts, and proclaiming it to others so that they too may live God’s Word in their lives.

Lord God, You nourish our spirits with Your lessons and decrees in the Gospel of Your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. With the guidance and inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of your Church, grant that we may grow more fruitful for the sake of Your kingdom. Amen.

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