Week 3 of Ordinary Time, Wednesday – 29th January 2020 — Gospel: Mark 4,1-20
Summon to hearing
The parable of the sower is the key to understanding all the parables (4,13) because it describes the proclamation and reception of the Gospel. Each response to the seed in the parable (4,3-9) is explained as a response to the Word of the gospel (4,15-20). Followers of Jesus who have heard the Word, the twelve and those around Jesus, are already blessed but also threatened (4,11a.13). Jesus concludes the parable with solemn attention to hear this word (4,9) and in every interpretation the sown word is “heard” (4,126.96.36.199). Summoning to hear echoes the famous command of Deut 6,4, known as the Great Shema: “Hear, O Israel!”. To hear means far more than to take in with the ears: it means to absorb, to appropriate deeply into one’s heart, to allow the message to sink in and change one’s whole life. However, Jesus has declared that understanding comes only as a gift (4,11). Those who hear, by themselves they cannot grasp the mystery of the kingdom; Jesus has to open their eyes to it. At the same time, they must allow themselves to be drawn into the dynamism of the Word and its radical implication for their lives.