Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
3rd WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 3 / (White)
St. Francis de Sales, bishop & doctor
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 89: 4-5, 27-28, 29-30: Forever I will maintain my love for my servant.
1st Reading: 2 Samuel 7: 4-17
But that very night, Yahweh’s word came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, this is what Yahweh says: Are you able to build a house for me to live in? I have not dwelt in a house since I brought the Israelites up from Egypt to the present day. But I went about with a tent for shelter. As long as I walked with the Israelites, did I say anything to the chiefs of Israel whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel? Did I say: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?
Now you will tell my servant David, this is what Yahweh of Hosts says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the sheep, to make you commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, cutting down all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great, as the name of the great ones on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel and plant them that they may live there in peace. They shall no longer be harassed, nor shall wicked men oppress them as before. From the time when I appointed judges over my people Israel it is only to you that I have given rest from all your enemies. Yahweh also tells you that he will build you a house.
When the time comes for you to rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your son after you, the one born of you; and I will make his reign secure. He shall build a house for my name and I will firmly establish his kingship
forever. I will be a father to him and he shall be my son. If he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod, as men do. But I will not withdraw my kindness from him as I did from Saul when I removed him out of your way. Your house and your reign shall last forever before me, and your throne shall be forever firm.”
Nathan repeated these words and related this vision to David.
Gospel: Mk 4: 1-20
Again, Jesus began to teach by the lake; but such a large crowd gathered about him, that he got into a boat and sat in it on the lake, while the crowd stood on the shore. He taught them many things through parables. In his teaching he said.
“Listen! The sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some of the seed fell along a path; and the birds came and ate it up.
Some of the seed fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil; it sprang up immediately, because it had no depth; but when the sun rose and burned it, it withered, because it had no roots. Other seed fell among thorn bushes; and the thorns grew and choked it; so it didn’t produce any grain. But some seed fell on good soil, grew and increased and yielded grain; some seed produced thirty times as much, some sixty, and some one hundred times as much.”
And Jesus added, “Listen then, if you have ears.”
When the crowd went away, some who were around him with the Twelve asked about the parables.
He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But for those outside, everything comes in parables, so that, the more they see, they don’t perceive; the more they hear, they don’t understand; otherwise they would be converted and pardoned.” Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How, then, will you understand any of the parables?
What the sower is sowing is the word.
Those along the path, where the seed fell, are people who hear the word, but as soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Other people receive the word like rocky ground.
As soon as they hear the word, they accept it with joy. But they have no roots, so it lasts only a little while. No sooner does trouble or persecution come because of the word, then they fall.
Others receive the seed, as seed among thorns. After they hear the word. they are caught up in the worries of this life, false hopes of riches and other desires. All these come in and choke the word, so that finally it produces nothing.
And there are others who receive the word as good soil. They hear the word, take it to heart and produce: some thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred times as much.”
“The soil needs to be prepared.”
Farmers know very well that one of the most important stages in the entire planting process is the preparation of the soil. It has to be cultivated. It is only after its cultivation and when it has already been conditioned that farmers would normally begin sowing the seed.
In the gospel today, Jesus taught the parable of the sower. Some seed fell along the path, some on the rocky ground, some on the bushes while some on good soil. The seed that fell on good soil grew and yielded grains. Jesus himself explained the parable. The seed refers to the word of God.
The good soil are those who hear God’s word and take it to heart. What does it mean to take the word of God to heart? The Greek verb paradechomai, which means “to receive,” is used to described the seed that fell on good soil. We simply need to accept God’s word for it to yield fruits. How can we then be prepared to become good soil?
Free ourselves of the things hindering us from receiving God’s word such as anger and the likes.
This kind of freedom is called conversion.
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