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Daily Devotional for July 25


July 25                                                               Mark 4:21-34

In today's Gospel Mark gathers a number of parables and say-
ings remembered from the preaching and teaching of Jesus.
The several images they offer us - a lamp, a measure, seeds
of grain, a mustard seed - all have one central purpose: to
affirm the reality, the dynamics, and the effects of God's
presence among us.

Jesus teaches us first that, although God's presence among us
initially seems hidden, secret, and obscure, it is nevertheless
very real, very like the mustard seed, "the smallest of all seeds
on earth." Jesus' teaching therefore invites us to look at the
world with eyes of faith, and to trust that God is present with
us, however imperceptible or unobtrusive that presence may be.

Jesus also teaches here that the Spirit of God grows of itself
in our world and in our hearts, in much the same way that
"The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then
the full grain in the ear." This does not imply, however, that
we ought to adopt an attitude of passivity with regard to our
spiritual growth. Rather, like the farmer who removes stones
from the soil, waters the earth, and removes weeds from
among the grain, so we can work in the world to create the
best conditions for the growth of the life of the Spirit by
involvement in social action, dedication to a life of prayer,
and working to change those habits and attitudes that keep
the life of the Spirit from growing in our lives.

Finally, Jesus teaches us here that when God's reign is given
a chance to grow and mature, it will become the one haven
that the whole world can call home. This good news invites
us to come to the single place of refuge that can offer us true
rest and peace: the heart of God.

         Jesus, your Gospel tells us that privately, to your
    disciples, you explained everything. As I pause now to
   consider your parables about the reign of God, quiet my
    spirit and open my heart so that I may hear the words
           of truth you would speak to me through them.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.


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