Bearing Abundant Fruit

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Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops


Mark 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this! 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 had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that they may look and see but not perceive and hear and listen but not understand in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.” Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no roots; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, merciful sower of all that is good, grant me the grace to receive your word with humility and obedience. You have created me in your image and invited me to be part of your Church, where “those who have ears ought to hear.” Enable your words to take root in me, and spur me to spread your Kingdom.


Encountering Christ:


  1. Pass It Down: How beautiful a grandmother’s faith is! Many of us can joyfully recall the way our grandmother had devotionals stuffed in her well-worn Bible, straining the binding or even demanding a rubber band around the whole bundle. St. Paul deeply appreciated the grandmother and mother of his precious friend, Timothy, and how they passed along their sincere faith to him. Lois and Eunice today are recalled by all of us who read the Apostle’s second letter to Timothy, and we can dream about what St. Paul would include about us if he were to write to our children or grandchildren. Have we set a courageous example that can be emulated by those who come after us? Do our words and deeds point toward Christ being at the center of our life? Would our pastor know our name as somebody who tirelessly serves our family and the Church?
  2. Preparing for the Seed: The parable of the sower presents a broad array of potential dispositions of each seed that the sower drops; where the seed falls almost appears random. We, though, who are the beneficiaries of sacred Scripture, are blessed to have this parable explained to us again and again as our fallen nature requires. We know from the Lord’s patient explanation that where the seed falls is certainly not random. We need grace to steer away from a fruitless path of concrete indifference. We need to discover the rich deposit of faith that provides depth for planting. We need to detach from material goods that threaten to choke off our branch from the life-giving vine. May we cling to the sower so that we bear abundant fruit for the Kingdom.
  3. Greeting the Sower: Today’s Gospel acclamation is a fine distillation of the well-known parable of the sower. The seed is the word of God—the living, breathing, and life-giving force that we have at our disposal at any moment. How much of the word of God echoes in our daily conversations? Christ is the sower—and we hear in today’s psalm that he deserves our glory and praise for his marvelous deeds, which include making this world for us firm, “not to be moved.” How grateful are we for this foundation? Lastly, the acclamation goes right to the ripe harvest, assuring the faithful that all who come in good conscience to Christ, the just and merciful sower, will live forever. What have we done to cultivate an ever more delicate conscience, driving sin from our life so as to come ever closer to the Lord?


Conversing with Christ: Lord, thank you for placing grandparents, godparents, parents, and friends in my path to help me to cultivate good soil. You know that I sometimes allow the thorns and brambles to creep in, but you, in your mercy, continue to plant good seeds. Give me the grace to humbly acknowledge my faults and strip my planting field of anything that inhibits your good seed from growing.


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will perform a good examination of conscience during my night prayers.

For Further Reflection: The Holy Father Pope Francis’ prayer vigil on the eve of the Rio De Janeiro World Youth Day, 2013.


Andrew Rawicki and his wife JoAnna live in Irving, Texas, near seven of their nine grandchildren. A convert from Judaism, Andrew entered the Church in 1991 and has been a member of the Regnum Christi spiritual family since 2001. He has served as the Regnum Christi Local Director for Dallas since July 2020.

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