Daily Prayer - week commencing 22nd January 2018




Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
Enfold me in your love. Let my heart become one with yours.

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.

Let me be always conscious of those you want me to serve: the hungry and the homeless; the sick and the destitute; the stranger and the refugee.

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 gt 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
• 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.
• The parable begins and ends with the world “listen”.  Listening is a very important element in our relationship with God.  In the Gospel listening involves:  hearing the message, understanding it, allowing the message to permeate our thoughts &, finally, acting on it.  Once this way of seeing and hearing becomes part of us, it will quite naturally inform how we behave.  This is the freedom that comes from being at one with Christ.
• Where is Word in my life?  Are my ears and hearts open to receive it?  Do I have the perseverance to hold onto it during times of trouble?  Are the cares of the world blocking it out?  Am I open to the promptings of the Spirit to enable it to produce fruit in and around me?

May your Holy Spirit guide me in all my dealings with others.  May I use the gift of speech with kindness.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.