Wednesday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 4:1-20

The Parable of the Sower


The parable tells us that we must do three things: First, we must hear what Jesus is telling us and we cannot hear unless we listen. It is an attitude of so many of us that we are so busy talking that we have no time to hear; so engaged in argument that we have no time to listen; so occupied in advancing our own opinions that we have no time to attend to the opinions of Christ. Second, We must receive it. When we hear the Christian message we must really take it into our minds. There are times when truth can hurt; but sometimes a distasteful drug or an unpleasant treatment must be accepted if health is to be preserved. Third, we must put it into action. Christianity is not a speculation or imagination but a challenge and action.


In other words: “believe what you read, teach what you believe and live it and be a Catholic with a backbone.”

God’s word or the “seed” in today’s gospel is not mere entertainment or diversion as when you read a novel or watch a TV program.

In the Mass, we listen to the readings or the priest’s homily (even if it can be boring sometimes) and pick out valuable lessons worth applying in day-to-day life.

For instance, if you hear the Parable of the Good Samaritan or Last Judgment, it should stimulate you to be compassionate especially to the needy; if it is the story of the Prodigal Son, it should move you to sorrow and compunction for your sins and failings but draw hope from an infinitely merciful Father.

The seed or the Lord’s teaching has immense power to reproduce and bear fruit in our lives. All God asks is that we provide the good soil, an open and receptive spirit through which God can work out his purpose in the world. (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


The good soil that stimulated the seeds to deliver a good harvest is the centerpiece of today’s gospel, the Parable of the Sower.

“Humus” is the Latin word for “earth” or “ground.” It is also the root word of “humility.” Ground and humility then are closely related. We could say therefore that to be a good ground (soil) is to be humble. Humility is the the foundation of all virtues. From it grows all other virtues.

Plants get their nutrients from the soil. Spiritual life get its nourishment from a humble heart. The Word of God, like seeds, can only grow in a humble heart. It is the heart that accepts its weaknesses, recognizes its pride and acknowledges its God-given gifts. It is the heart that is willing to listen and learn from the Sower Himself. On the other hand, seeds could not grow in a rocky heart (pusong bato), a heart full of hatred and pride, a heart that could not feel any longer the presence and needs of others. (Frt. Carl Milos Rutchina Bulilan, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” One of the hardest things to do is to listen. Stephen Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People enumerates four popular levels or kinds of listening. When one is speaking we are usually listening at one of the four levels. We may be ignoring, not really listening at all. We may be pretending, “yeah, uh-uh, right, okay.” We may practice selective listening, choosing only certain parts of the conversation which interest us. Or we may even practice attentive listening, paying attention and focusing energy on the words that are being said. But very few of us ever practice the fifth level, emphatic listening the most effective form of listening. It is the ability to put oneself in the shoes of the other and see, hear and feel from his/her perspective. It is the ability to listen not only with the ears but with the heart.

The parables of Jesus, especially the parable of the seed, are not only meant for entertainment. They are meant to bring transformation and life to the hearers.  But are we listening, if yes, what level of listening are we using? Remember, only emphatic listening can bring us a hundredfold harvest. “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” (Fr. Gerry Paat, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


January 27, 2016 Wednesday

We are all, by virtue of our baptism, mandated to spread the Word of God. Unfortunately, we also share in all the pitfalls enumerated in the Gospel for today. What are we to do?

It is not by accident that Jesus chose the imagery of sowing the seed. Just as the field is, at first, not ready yet to receive the seed so is the world not ready at the start. A farmer has to invest time, effort and his experience in making the field fruitful.

Second, the planting during Jesus’ time involved plowing the field after sowing. Thus strange is the seeming waste of seeds falling on all kinds of terrain. Finally, life always finds a way to grow. But if it starts wrongly, the results are not optimal.

We, as sowers of the Word, do not “own” the Word. Nor are we the source of growth. We are “only” bringers of the Word, everything else is God’s. It may not make sense, for example, if we waste good seed on non-christians or unbelievers; God will always reach out to all and will take charge of nurturing the fragile seed. May St. Angela Merici accompany us in the sometimes lonely mission of spreading the Word of God. (Fr. Reynaldo Jimenez, SVD | DWC, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte Bible Diary 2016)

Source: (2016.01.27)


Reflection for January 28, Wednesday; Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor; Mark 4:1-20

Reflection: Are you open to hear or read the words of Jesus? The word of Jesus are the seed that He sows in our hearts. We can read this when we open our bible, when we go to Holy Mass and when we hear or read commentaries about the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some of us hear or read this good news of Jesus when we are burdened by our problems. Then after our problems have been solved we once again distance ourselves from the words of God. We only treat God like a commodity that we only use when we are in need. Thus the words of God does not bear fruit in our hearts and we also do not become fruitful followers of Jesus.

How could we become fruitful followers of Jesus? It’s when we read, hear and share His words. It’s when we allow the words of God to bear much fruit in our hearts that it transforms us to become a person with a new mindset soundly grounded upon the words of God. Thus we become the rich soil that Jesus mentions in the gospel (Mark 4:20)

There are people who allow themselves to be transformed by the seeds or the words of God. For example from being bad they become good, from being irresponsible they now become responsible, and from being corrupt they become incorruptible. Why? This is for the reason that they allowed God’s words to work miracles in their life!

How about you? Will you allow the words/seeds of God to heal and transform you?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reflection for January 27, Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 4:1-20

Reflection: Do you want to grow in faith?

Sometimes we may wonder why others do not grow in faith yet others grow in faith? The secret for those who grow in faith is the time that they invest with God. For example if we would have a solemn daily prayer life we would be assured that God will look kindly upon us and He will give us the gift of faith.

We have in our gospel the parable of the sower who is no other than God. He sows the seeds of faith in our hearts but not everyone of us are able to grow and deeply nurture the seeds of faith that He sows. For the reason that we lack time for God but the paradox is we have time for this world and we even create time for this world. But do we have time for God? Do we create time for God?

Faith is a gift from God but at the same time we have to open and use this gift of faith we should not take it for granted. Otherwise this gift will not blossom, grow and have deep roots within us. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why our faith doesn’t blossom because we take it for granted.

When are we going to get serious with our faith in God? When are we going to live our faith? So that it could finally blossom and bear abundant fruit. When we are already sickly and near the cliff of death? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



LISTEN BEYOND THE WORDS “Whoever has ears ought to hear.” – Mark 4:9

I always keep in mind the Irish proverb, “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we ought to listen twice as much as we speak.” But sadly, I do the opposite — speak more and listen less. Sigh. That’s the folly of an opinionated me.

But when I did listen to my friend Lysa, who shared how she embraces the cross of caring for her ailing mom, I heard a gentle Voice beyond her words and woes telling me: “My child, I am there in the midst of your friend’s story, sad as it may be. Pay attention. Listen to Me as you hear her speak. For her words mean more than what is being said. Beyond the words, you hear My heart beating with love for her and for you.”

Listening to God is more than hearing His words. It is experiencing His constant presence within us; it is knowing that it is He who speaks in truth. If only we incline our ears to His wisdom and drown out the useless noise of the world, then we will have peace within. No agony or sorrow or pain.

And as I listened more to Lysa, I cried silently, letting God hear my tears fall with my message: Thank You, Lord, for loving us. I thank You… more than words can say. Dina Pecaña (

Reflection: “Whoever is of God hears the words of God…” (John 8:47)

Lord, silence me, that I may listen to what You wish to tell me.



January 27, 2016

REFLECTION: Today’s first reading is entirely built around the word house taken in two very different meanings. The first meaning is the obvious one and refers to a building used as a home, a dwelling place. This is what David has in mind when he offers God to build him a house of cedar, namely, a temple or sanctuary. God’s reaction to this generous offer could be summed up in this way: “Thank you, David, for your kind offer. But for the past 200 years I have lived in a tent and have never complained about it. But I appreciate your good intention. Instead of you building me a house, I will do the opposite: I will build you a house.” Now here God is taking the word house to mean a dynasty (as in, for example, the House of York, the House of Windsor, etc.). And God specifies that David’s dynasty will last forever! Now is this true? After all, when we visit the Knesset (the Parliament) in Israel, we see a Prime Minister but no king. Did God forget his promise? No, he merely elevated the promised kingship from a local/political level to a universal/spiritual level with the sending of his Son, who claimed to be a king (Jn 18:36), but a king of hearts. And he will be that forever.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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