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Daily Prayer - 2013-01-30

Presence

I pause for a moment
and think of the love and the grace
that God showers on me,
creating me in his image and likeness,
making me his temple....

Freedom

By God's grace I was born to live in freedom,
free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as you intended,
with complete confidence in your loving care.

Consciousness

Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
I can afford to be honest about how I am.
How has the last day been, and how do I feel now?
I share my feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

Mark 4:1-20

Again Jesus 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."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • The word “parable” comes from two Greek words meaning “to throw” and “alongside”, that is, to talk about one thing in terms of another. A parable will reveal its meaning to those “with ears to hear” but conceal it from those with closed minds and resistant hearts. Today Mark offers us the familiar Parable of the Sower, followed by an explanation of its meaning. As an experiment, try to forget you ever heard the explanation and listen to the parable itself as if for the first time. (Note that the parable begins and ends with the word “listen”). What do you make of it? What does it mean for you?
  • In Mark’s explanation the seed is the “word”. Do you recall other biblical references to the “word”? In what contexts do they occur? Remember Isaiah: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty…” (Isaiah 55:10-11). Both Isaiah and Mark associate the word with fruitfulness. Do you see this mystery at work in your own life? In the world around you?

Conversation

Jesus often asked questions of those who came to him.
Let me sense him close to me now,
Listening to my prayer and asking
‘How can I help you?’
‘What can I give you?’

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.