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January 24, 2018

St. Francis de Sales

Mk 4:1-20

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.

He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away.

Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Becoming the rich soil

I used to think today’s Gospel had to do with listening. If I listened hard enough to the Gospel, it would sink in and I would bear fruit a hundredfold.

Jesus tells us what is needed to be rich soil – not to let “worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word.” The word is not just Scripture, but Jesus himself. Jesus is the Word that gets tossed to the side by our anxieties, possessions, and cravings.

To become rich soil, we must find out what is out of balance in our hearts and minds. The First Principle and Foundation of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises tells us to hold everything lightly, to have or do things only insofar as they help us find and glorify God. What in your life has taken up too much time or thought, and choked out the Word?

—Rachel Forton is the Marketing & Retreat Coordinator for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.

Prayer

God who loves us creates us and wants to share life with us forever.
Our love response takes shape in our praise and honor and service of the God of our life…
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance before all created gifts
insofar as we have a choice and are not bound by some responsibility.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty,
success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a more loving response to our life forever with God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.

—First Principle and Foundation, as translated by David L. Fleming, SJ, in Draw Me into Your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises-A Literal Translation and a Contemporary Reading

 


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As a Jesuit school, Loyola Academy is rooted in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Daily prayer was an essential tool by which Ignatius reflected on his life and deepened his relationship with Christ.

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January 24, 2018

St. Francis de Sales

Mk 4:1-20

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.

He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away.

Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Becoming the rich soil

I used to think today’s Gospel had to do with listening. If I listened hard enough to the Gospel, it would sink in and I would bear fruit a hundredfold.

Jesus tells us what is needed to be rich soil – not to let “worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word.” The word is not just Scripture, but Jesus himself. Jesus is the Word that gets tossed to the side by our anxieties, possessions, and cravings.

To become rich soil, we must find out what is out of balance in our hearts and minds. The First Principle and Foundation of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises tells us to hold everything lightly, to have or do things only insofar as they help us find and glorify God. What in your life has taken up too much time or thought, and choked out the Word?

—Rachel Forton is the Marketing & Retreat Coordinator for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.

Prayer

God who loves us creates us and wants to share life with us forever.
Our love response takes shape in our praise and honor and service of the God of our life…
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance before all created gifts
insofar as we have a choice and are not bound by some responsibility.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty,
success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a more loving response to our life forever with God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.

—First Principle and Foundation, as translated by David L. Fleming, SJ, in Draw Me into Your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises-A Literal Translation and a Contemporary Reading

 

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Please share the Good Word with your friends!