Step #1: Lectio / Read
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some 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.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Step #2: Meditatio / MEditate
I've always wondered what it would be like to hear these words of Jesus with a farmer's ears. I'm from a city, grew up in a city, moved to a city, educated in a city, moved to another city, and now I'm kind of settled down in a city. True. I do drive through the country and smell country smells on my way to vacation, but let's face it: I don't know the difference between hay and straw, and I don't know when soy bean season is. I know corn is supposed to be knee high by Fourth of the July, but really only because it rhymes.
I've always wondered what it would be like to listen to Jesus and all of his rural-life examples with ears that were filled with similar experiences.
I reckon that even for those of us city-folk who don't have lots of first-hand soil experience, we can understand what Jesus means. For hearts that are ready, for souls that are prepared to receive him, he is able to take root, to abide, to remain. For souls that have not been prepared to receive their Divine Master into their deepest and most interior recesses, however, there's little that can be done, since God never intrudes but only arrives with an invitation.
Jesus, I pray that every day of my life I might "re-invite" you to dwell within me. To find in my heart, in my soul, a home which is open and welcoming to you. Jesus, I pray that my soil might always be rich and fertile.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Am I preparing my soil? Do I pray daily? Am I going to confession regularly? Am I close to the Word of God? Am I attending Mass? Am I serving others?
What's one concrete, real, actual, tangible, practical thing I could do every day to make sure my soil is tilled and watered so that the Word of God can take root?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
Come into my heart, Lord.
Jesus, abide with me. Stay with me.
Come, Lord Jesus.
For the Rest of Your Day...
Try and remain conscious of the Lord's presence and his desire at every moment to be with you and stay with you. As much as you can throughout the day, repeat these words, "Come, Lord Jesus. Stay with me.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Jonathon Bakkelund, Parochial Administrator for St. Peter Parish in Geneva and Director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Diocese of Rockford.