A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 13: 1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
"A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit beloved of my soul, enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, speak to my heart, I love you. Amen
(There are two points of prayer in this Lectio Divina)
In this beautiful and well known passage, there are many images and analogies one could draw from the seed and sower, but in this first Point of our Lectio Divina we will not focus on these but rather seek the door...the 'entry way' into dialogue with the Living Jesus. Be in the house with Jesus and watch Him walk out the door and leave the house. (a very human action that we can all relate to) "Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea." Watch Jesus, as He walks out of the house and heads down to the beautiful water you see ahead. How is He walking? Is He walking slowly, pondering as He walks? or is He walking with determination?
I place myself in the house too, and as I hear the door open I look outside and I see Jesus walking out of the house and down towards the water.
Its a beautiful day, He is walking with determination but clearly He is pondering also. I immediately get up and follow Him. He is the 'fullness' in the house and when He leaves I miss Him and just want to be where He is going, wherever that is so I follow Him. I find Him sitting by the water, and He looks lost in thought-lost in prayer. I feel deeply close to the Father at this moment, and drawn somehow into His prayer. I wait for His gaze to acknowledge my presence, I don't want to disturb Him nor intrude but just at the same instant I am thinking that in my heart, He gaze rests on me, and immediately answers my 'thought' by the love in His eyes. I know I belong here, I am not only welcome, but, I belong here with Him. I feel this deep sense of 'belonging.' This 'belonging' fills me with peace and I understand I am 'apart' of Him, always welcome and what is happening now is something I too must enter. Whatever was anxious, troubled, or restless inside my heart earlier now seems 'ordered in Peace', yet neither He nor I have spoken a single audible word. His Presence mysteriously 'orders' my heart and opens it, igniting a desire both to understand His heart and to receive more from Him, more OF Him! There is no where in the world I would rather be and there is nothing in the whole world I would rather be doing, than what I am doing, where I am, which is with Him. His Presence and Love are "filling."
Stay here with Jesus here, you belong here, He wants you close to Him, He is happy that you are with Him, He is pleased with your company, believe it! Look in His eyes, totally present to you, He is not speaking but He is looking at you and somehow in His look, is also a Word that is spoken silently in your heart, what is that Word? Look in His eyes, can you see the love? acceptance? tenderness? reverence for you? Listen, do you hear the crowds approaching, talking to each other, some calling out his name loudly, mobs of people are approaching, calling out His name; ' Jesus' 'Jesus'...watch Jesus get into the boat, and wait for you-you belong near Him. Listen to Jesus as He shares the parable, as He speaks to the crowd, He is speaking to your heart too and your heart is just burning, alive, like it hasn't felt in a long time. What is He saying to you as you listen to the parable He speaks? Speak to His heart directly
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, I love you, I love you, have mercy on me. Amen
How often have you seen a tiny plant sprout up in between the cracks somewhere? Maybe on your concrete driveway? I always remember as a child, pulling out the grass and dandelions that managed to grow there in such little space. It made me ponder, how limited is the growth of this plant when there is no soil, or poor soil, or where its growth is stifled by concrete slabs that made up our driveway back home. That plant doesn't stand a chance to grow and really flourish when it is constricted by something. Our Lord Jesus (in this parable) is helping us see, what is happening to the seed (His Word) in our lives in a very personal way. There is so much to observe in this parable take time and really listen with your heart. Here we will pray with two particular words that Jesus speaks: "produced fruit." If you notice out of all the 'seeds' only one soil actually produced anything. What part do you have right now, in making your soil more fertile in order that it may produce fruit ? Notice the Word 'some', not all are going to do what it takes to produce fruit, which "some' do you want to be a part of?