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All Issues > Volume 15, Issue 1

<< Wednesday, January 27, 1999 >> St. Angela Merici
Hebrews 10:11-18
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Psalm 110 Mark 4:1-20
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"He began to teach beside the lake. Such a huge crowd gathered around Him that He went and sat in a boat on the water, while the crowd remained on the shore nearby. He began to instruct them at great length." —Mark 4:1-2

The parable of the sower and the seed is very important because it is the basis for understanding all the other parables (Mk 4:13) as well as understanding God's kingdom, which is revealed in parables (see Mt 13:24-50). This parable is not about the sower and the seed, but about four conditions of ground. These represent our openness or lack of openness to God's word (Mk 4:20). It is difficult to take God's word to heart because God's ways are not our ways (Is 55:8). Our hearts are naturally deceitful (Jer 17:9) and hardened (see Ps 95:8), and the Lord repeatedly challenges us in His word to repent.

In addition to all these difficulties, we have special problems in taking God's word to heart in a large group setting. When Jesus taught the parable of the sower, seed, and the grounds, He was sitting in a boat on the water a few feet from the shore and addressing "a huge crowd" (Mk 4:1). Jesus was using the water both for crowd-control and as a medium to project His voice to the masses. He was using a primitive form of mass media. In this context, we tend not to take God's word personally. We sit passively waiting to be entertained and look around at the others in the crowd.

This dangerous setting for hearing or not hearing God's word is the setting in which we usually hear the word. When attending Sunday Mass, reading books, watching videos, listening to the radio, and looking at a computer screen, watch out! You are in imminent danger of not taking God's word to heart. "Let him who has ears to hear Me, hear!" (Mk 4:9)

Prayer: Father, make me always a doer of Your word (Jas 1:22).
Promise: "Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins and took His seat forever at the right hand of God; now He waits until His enemies are placed beneath His feet." —Heb 10:12-13
Praise: St. Angela's work was fruitful, and many young girls heard and responded to the gospel during her ministry.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 15, Issue 1
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