St. Mark 4: 1-20

Dec. 9, 2021

And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

2And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

3Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

4And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

5And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

6But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

8And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

9And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

13And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

14The sower soweth the word.

15And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

16And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

17And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

18And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

19And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

20And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Baby, Man, and King. Priest, Prophet, and King. Heaven on earth. Knower of all things. Creator of all things.

I love that the disciples and the folks round about them and Jesus, ask Him what is meant in this parable. We, like they, don’t have to try to figure it out on our own – Jesus explains it very clearly. All we have to do is decide which kind of soil we are; did the seed get enough soil, water, and sunshine to grow and bring forth fruit?

The most difficult verse is number 12. “12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” On its face, it seems counter to what Jesus wants to achieve – why wouldn’t He want people to be converted to Him?

According to the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament: In the 8th century BC, God told Isaiah to file a covenant lawsuit against Jerusalem. The lawsuit was against a wicked generation. Jesus, in the days He walked with us on earth, was also addressing a wicked generation and only those who are not hardened to His word will be converted and their sins forgiven.

Yet again, the forward and back of Advent and the Babe in the manger is the fulcrum.

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