Mass Reading & Meditation for February 1, 2013
Meditation: Mark 4:26-34
3rd Week in Ordinary Time
“Of its own accord the land yields fruit.” (Mark 4:28)
Did you ever think that Jesus might not have given enough credit to farmers in this parable? He seems to imply that all they do is plant a few seeds and just sit around waiting for the harvest. It’s a good thing this is just a story and not a commentary on productivity! Jesus is simply saying that there are forces beyond a farmer’s control that help produce the harvest: the nutrients in the soil, along with the sun and the rain, play a big part. The farmer works hard to prepare for the harvest and tends it as it grows, but it’s still a miracle. Ultimately, he is just the steward.
The same is true of the kingdom of God. We are the stewards, not the actual builders. Think of how the Church began—with a group of virtually unknown men and women who followed Jesus’ instruction to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel” (Mark 16:15). How did they achieve such phenomenal results? Filled with the Holy Spirit, they simply went out and did what Jesus called them to do. And God blessed their efforts.
Do you see the connection to your own life? If you want to experience more of the kingdom of God—and if you want to help it grow in this world—your best strategy is to follow the farmer’s lead and look after the soil. Prepare your heart so that you can receive the spiritual nourishment you need from the Lord every day. That could mean going to Confession to clean yourself up, and it could mean sifting through the influences that come at you during your day.
Then it’s a matter of opening yourself to God’s grace—to rain and the light that will nourish the soil you have prepared for him. That comes by spending time with him every day in prayer. It comes from worshipping him at Mass every Sunday and receiving him in the Eucharist. Do this, and you will become more peaceful and confident that God is taking care of you. You will also find yourself bearing more and more fruit for the kingdom. Of its own accord, your heart will begin to yield fruit (Mark 4:28).
“Lord, I need your life-giving water. Help me to seek you every day and to receive all that I need from you.”
Hebrews 10:32-39; Psalm 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40