WEEK ONE : CHRIST THE TEACHER
Parable of the Sower Luke 8 : 4-15
With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, he used this parable:
‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that they may see but not perceive, listen but not understand.
‘This then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through perseverance.’
QUESTIONS WHICH THE GROUP MIGHT LIKE TO DISCUSS :
- How eager are we – as individuals and as the Church – to receive Our Lord’s teaching? How open are our hearts to what He wants to communicate to us? Do we even have much sense of Our Lord wanting to be our teacher?
- Do we, in fact, really turn to Jesus for guidance and for the truth, in our daily lives? In what kind of situation do we listen to him for advice? Or do we very much follow our own whims and opinions?
- Do we find that hearing God’s word and seeking to put it into practice is often choked by the ‘worries, riches, and pleasures’ of life? If so, how can we deal with these ‘thorns’ which choke the word?
- On a very practical level, do we listen to God speaking to us in our daily prayer time, in the words of Scripture, and in the teaching the Church? Are we attentive listeners?
- What, apart from those ‘thorns’, causes us to fail to listen to Our Lord’s teaching? Do we think that we know already what is right and true, and do not need any direction? Do we neglect daily prayer? Are we just neglectful of our relationship with God, which must include listening to Him?
- At the end of the parable, Our Lord says that a harvest is borne through ‘Perseverance’. Why is it that many Catholics don’t seem to persevere in their discipleship – a basic constituent of which is worship and prayer? Why do so many lapse rather than persevere? How can we persevere, so as to bear fruit? How can we be rich soil?