Lectio Divina – 29
Fr Martin Kallunkal
Reading “This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and never produce any crops. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance” (Lk. 8:11-15).
Reflection The passage we have read is Jesus’ own interpretation of the parable of the sower. God is the sower, His word is the seed, and human heart is the soil. The four different places where the seed falls – the edge of the path, the rock, thorny land, and rich soil–symbolize four different kinds of human responses to God’s invitation to salvation. It is important to note that everyone hears the word (See verses 12, 13, 14, 15). Indeed, faith begins with hearing. Nevertheless, hearing here is not a motivated hearing; rather it is just like the choiceless reception of seeds by the soil. Mere hearing does not save, but faith does. Already in the previous chapter, Jesus has stated that the woman’s faith saved her (Lk 7:50). Faith is a response of sincere obedience and lasting commitment to the word of God. Faith is not a momentary conviction and decision. The distinguishing features of saving faith are fidelity and perseverance. If one does not take the word seriously and allow it to enter into his/her active consciousness through sustained contemplation, it is likely that the day devils fish them with the net of rational doubts. In addition, believers need to take care that the sapling of faith survives seasons of trials, not suffocated by the wild weeds of worldly worries and pleasures, and that it slowly grows to a mature tree of faith.
Prayer Thank you, Lord, for the thought inducing parable and the illuminating interpretation. Awaken me, Lord, so that I may be awakened to the fact that living and life-giving words are sown in my heart. Lord, why am I not growing mature in faith? Lord, I am yours; do take complete possession of what is yours and yours alone. Safeguard your words in my heart. Weed out, Lord, all worldly concerns in my mind. Take me, Lord, to the school of Mary, your mother, who wholeheartedly received the word, kept it in her immaculate heart, and brought forth the most holy fruit.
Contemplation Know that the eternal word of the Father is right there in your heart! Watch and feel the gentle movements of the divine word in the womb of your heart. Imagine the thousand ways the word can blossom in your life – loveful thoughts, generous smiles, acts of care and kindness, etc.
Action Choose a verse from the Bible, learn it by heart, repeat and ponder over it at different times in the dayuntil you see its tangible fruits in your personal as well as social life.