Skip to main content

Daily Gospel Reflection - 23 January 2013


Jesus began to teach beside the lake again. Such a large crowd gathered that he climbed into a boat there on the lake. He sat in the boat while the whole crowd was nearby on the shore. He said many things to them in parables. While teaching them, he said, “Listen to this! A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path; and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. When the sun came up, it scorched the plants; and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked the seeds, and they produced nothing. Other seed fell into good soil and bore fruit. Upon growing and increasing, the seed produced in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of one hundred to one.” He said, “Whoever has ears to listen should pay attention!”

When they were alone, the people around Jesus, along with the Twelve, asked him about the parables. He said to them, “The secret of God’s kingdom has been given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables. This is so that they can look and see but have no insight, and they can hear but not understand. Otherwise, they might turn their lives around and be forgiven.

“Don’t you understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The farmer scatters the word. This is the meaning of the seed that fell on the path: When the word is scattered and people hear it, right away Satan comes and steals the word that was planted in them. Here’s the meaning of the seed that fell on rocky ground: When people hear the word, they immediately receive it joyfully. Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away.  Others are like the seed scattered among the thorny plants. These are the ones who have heard the word; but the worries of this life, the false appeal of wealth, and the desire for more things break in and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. The seed scattered on good soil are those who hear the word and embrace it. They bear fruit, in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case sixty to one, and in another case one hundred to one.”

A couple of thoughts popped into my head while reading this passage. The first is the timing of the Realm of G_d. It was a popular belief that G_d’s Realm was to come at the end of history. It would be the last thing after everything else. What Jesus set out to do was show that G_d’s promised Realm was to come within history. He said in Mark 1, “The time promised by G_d has come at last! Here comes G_d’s [Realm].” In other words, G_d’s promised Realm started with the Incarnation and continues to spread even to this day.

This leads me to the second thought.

The next thing that came to me is in the form of a question. What if we understood “the word” as Jesus instead of the Gospel? John wrote that Jesus, “was the Word.” So, instead of spreading stories about Jesus in the world, what if we spread Jesus? What if Jesus is saying that the expansion of the Realm of G_d is not the message of Jesus but Jesus himself? What if we’re supposed to be Christ to the world? What if Jesus meant that we’re to continue his Way of Living - a life of sacrificial, loving service for all?

Wow.

I think that just completely changes the whole thing.



~~~
In the Love of the Three in One,

Br. Jack+, LC

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pipe Smoking—The Why

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis

In my last post I talked about my ingress into the fantastical world of pipe smoking. In this post, I want to talk about the “why’s,” the reasons I smoke a pipe. And that’s an important distinction. I’m not saying why you should smoke a pipe, I’m only speaking from my experience.

So, why did I start smoking a pipe?

I’m not really sure. Seriously. I just sort of fell into it. I mean, I guess part of it is the “old world” feel about smoking a pipe. I’m a lost romantic in a very unromantic world. I like “old” things—antiques, craftsmanship, clothes1, shaving2, etc.—and pipe smoking fits into a lot of those categories. There’s a quote I use when I give retreats on Celtic Christian Spirituality that goes like th…

Pipe Smoking—The Beginning

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis



As many of you know, I smoke a pipe. And while I really don’t mention it a lot on this blog, if you were to visit me we would, more likely than not, find ourselves sitting outside having a nice conversation and I’d be smoking a pipe. I might even offer you one, if you’re so inclined.

What I’d like to do is write a little series on pipe smoking. Perhaps some “how to’s” and what not. Who knows? I might even start a YouTube channel about it.

But one thing I’d like to try to do is tie pipe smoking together with theology and biblical study. A lot of people find the two—pipe smoking and spiritual commitment—diametrically opposed to one another. But as we saw in the Lewis quote above, it can be quite helpful and s…

Pipe Smoking—The Pipe Parts and Stuff

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis

In our previous post, we talked about the different shapes of a smoking pipe. So today we’re going to talk about the different parts of a pipe and some of the tools you’ll need for smoking your pipe.

Now that you have your first pipe (congratulations, by the way!), let’s talk about the different parts of your pipe.


As you can see in the above image, a pipe has two basic sections, the stummel and the stem. The stummel is the wood part and the stem is the mouthpiece.

The stummel can be made of different material but is generally briar wood. Briar (Fr. bruyère)comes from a flowering, evergreen shrub (erica arborea) in the heather family that grows in the Mediterranean Basin. After the shrub has reached maturity…