Today’s Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
When I come upon a familiar parable, I often find myself skimming through to the end. It’s as if my brain says, “Yep, I know this one.” Then, it switches over to autopilot, going through the motions of scanning the remainder of the words on the page. I know the Word of God is living and eternal; I know there is more to be gained from any passage of Scripture than I could possibly imagine. Yet, I still find myself slipping into that place where I feel I already know what’s going to happen next.
Contrast that experience to another common encounter with Scripture: when a familiar passage comes crashing into your heart as if you’re hearing it – or at least understanding it – for the first time. You’ve heard the parable at least an hundred times before, but, this time, it’s as if God is speaking directly to you and your life situation. Your heart is on fire, you want to jump with excitement, and you wonder how it’s possible that you’ve never really “heard” what Jesus was saying in that passage until now.
Today’s Gospel tells us, “With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.” We encounter the Word of God through our own lives, our own experiences, and, unfortunately, our own blinders. How I wish I were with the apostles to whom Jesus explained everything in private! Instead, my faith journey is like that of the seed. Thankfully, the Word of God sprouts in my heart, though I “know not how,” even when I fail to give it the attention it is due.
When reading Scripture, do I ask the Holy Spirit into my heart so that I might encounter Christ through His words, or do I simply scan the page to get to the end of the reading?
Dear God, please allow the seeds of your Holy Word to continue to sprout fruitfully in my heart, so that my faith might be strengthened and increased, and I might stand for you like a mighty mustard tree.
Copyright 2017 Mary Swafford
Mary Swafford is a homeschooling mama to six kiddos. She has a degree in psychology from the University of Memphis and a Master of Theological Studies from Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. Mary is a former youth minister and has been a catechist for over a decade. Her passion is helping people encounter Christ through his holy Church.