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. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away.Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in 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.’”
And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These 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.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But 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.
And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but 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. And 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
The seeds sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word of God and accept it, and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. [Mark 4: 20]
The world is charged with the grandeur of God
It will flame out, like shining shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. When do men then now not reck this rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
Their lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black west went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward,
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah!
—Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
—Excerpted from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, © 1993 Institute of Jesuit Sources, St. Louis MO
Lord, hearing your word is easy. Living your word with consistency is challenging. Help us to make those changes that will enable us to live your word in our homes and work places. If anything is choking our efforts to live the gospel values, please bring it to our attention.
Should “the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things” interfere with our faithfulness to you, help us to remove such temptation. Lord, with great anticipation we will claim your promise that those who hear your word and live it will bear fruit thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team