Tuesday 29 January 2013

How often have you given into despair and lost hope? Will you continue to hope today?

To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 10:11-18; Mk 4:1-20

The text of today is taken from what is known as The Parable Discourse in the Gospel of Mark. The text contains an introduction to the Discourse (4:1-2), the parable of the Sower (4:3-9), a saying on the kingdom and its secret (4:10-12) and the interpretation of the parable (4:13-20). It is important that while it is likely that Jesus uttered the parable, in all probability the interpretation is the work of the early church. This is why; the interpretation of these texts must be done separately.

The parable of the Sower seems to point out that of the four types of soil in which the seed falls, it is LOST in three types and bears fruit in only one type. This indicates that while three quarters of the effort are lost, only a quarter is gain. However, the focus of the parable is not on the loss but on the gain, which even that one-quarter brings. The Parable is pointing out to the fact that this is how life often is. Three quarters of our efforts seem to be wasted and it is possible that when this happens we may give in to despair. However, we are called to focus not on this but on the enormous gain that the one-quarter of our effort will indeed bring.

We may tend to lose heart when we see that most of our efforts do not seem to be bearing fruit. At times like these, the Parable of the Sower offers hope that even though much of our effort may seem to be lost, the gain that will arise from it will be enormous. It invites us not to ever lose heart but to keep on doing our part and leave the rest to God. It is calling us to sow and rest confident in the hope that God will make it grow.

1 comment:

  1. I recall seeing a television interview of Mother Theresa here where the interviewer in a quest to ask a tough question, questioned the success of her Calcutta ministry because in the course of it she had made so few converts. MT replied that when she came to Calcutta, that it was a common thing to see people in extremis and near death in the street. Her perception was that each of these people represented the face of Christ, because they were truly the least of the brethren and her ministry consisted not in saving their lives, but to offer comfort and care as they passed from this world to the next. She said that as this ministry became known in the city, that people began to call the Mission of Charity if they should happen to see anyone in this situation, and as a consequence, that now it was uncommon to encounter people dying in the street. She said that the true measure of her success was not to be found in counting converts, but that in this collective empowerment of her ministry, that the whole city had moved closer to God.


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