Sown with God’s Word

Mark 4: 1-20
Tit 1: 1-5 / Ps 96

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundredfold.
(Mark 4: 8)

Come Holy Spirit as I write,
Guide this hand that Your Word be told;
Dispel this darkness, be my light,
Let this bear fruit a hundredfold.

Jesus began to teach the crowd by the lake… He taught them this parable: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, which had thin soil. It sprang up quickly, but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and withered for lack of 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 hundredfold.” Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” When He was alone, the Twelve 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 see but never perceive, and hear but never understand, else they might turn and be forgiven!’” Then Jesus said to them, “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 receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word, but the worries of life, the deception of wealth and worldly desires come and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce thirty, sixty or even a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:1-20)


Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel that not everyone is receptive to the Word of God. The busy-ness of life’s commerce drowns out the Spirit’s call. Or the hearts of those who hear have either been so hardened by life’s adversities, or simply intoxicated by its pleasures that the Word of God has become meaningless to them, if not irrelevant. But who are the “good soil” in this Parable of the Sower? Those who seek the mystical beyond the material, and understand that the spiritual life is more valuable than what this temporal life can offer. “The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).

St. Paul said, “Train yourself for godliness; for while physical training has limited value, godliness is valuable in every respect, since it holds promise for the present life and for the future” (1 Tim. 4.7-8). How do we train ourselves to be spiritual, so that the Holy Spirit can cultivate us to become fertile ground for the seed of God’s Word? There are four ways: by prayer, selfless service, being physically fit, and by joining a renewal community.

Prayer is a powerful tool that weeds out vain thoughts and desires, as one focuses on the purity and love of God. All the saints lived a life of prayer. Most of them also dedicated their lives to serving God though others. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was the prime example of selfless service, and was loved and admired by millions throughout the world. St. Paul mentioned in his letter to Timothy that “physical training has limited value,” but only in comparison to spiritual training. We also need to be physically fit and healthy for serving the Lord, just as a stable building needs a strong foundation. We cannot hope to discipline ourselves spiritually if we cannot adopt a healthy and wholesome lifestyle. Finally, joining a spiritual community like the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen & Professionals (BCBP) offers advantages we cannot avail “going solo” in our life journey. We all need a community as our support group, because no man can stand alone against the power of evil forces. Jesus said, “If two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there in their midst.” It is in community where we experience God’s presence, immersed in His Word.

In the spiritual context, there are only two kinds of people in this world: those who hear and live the Word of God in their lives, and those who never bother to listen, and so lose the opportunity to reform their lives and be saved. May we live out all the lessons that we learn daily from the Lord, as we read His Word in the Gospel.

Dear God, make our life a fertile soil that can nurture the seeds (Your Word) You plant therein. We know that we came from the soil, and to the soil we must eventually return. Until then, grant that we may reap the harvest of a hundredfold. Amen.

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