Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (8: 4-15) in which Jesus tells the parable of the Sower and explains to his disciples what it means. Following the same order as the Gospel of Mark, Fr Paul says, Luke now comes to the group of parables about the Kingdom.

The only one he uses, though, is the parable of the sower. For Luke uses parables not so much to explain what the Kingdom is like but to reflect on individual virtues and vices. Luke’s version of the Sower is a little shorter, suggesting that he is not so interested in the agricultural details, and other distractions. Luke concentrates more on the dispositions of those who receive the seed, of those who receive the Word of God.

At the beginning and at the end of the explanation of the parable, we hear the same word being used and is the word ‘heart’. At the beginning of the explanation, when the Word fails to be accepted the Word is taken ‘from their hearts’. Then, at the end of the explanation, when those ‘of a noble and generous heart…hold fast and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’ Again, it is the heart that counts and yields the virtue which Luke treasures elsewhere, and that is the virtue of perseverance.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul says, we might reflect on our own lives and ask ourselves, ‘How do I persevere in prayer? Is perseverance a virtue in my life?’