Listen. He wants us to listen.
There were a multitude hanging to his every word. They reach out to him, ears wide open as a barren land thirsts for rain. He was unlike those they have heard before. He spoke with authority and power that makes their hearts melt in gentle submission. Too long has it been since their hearts were subdued by such a powerful call. They want to hear. There were many of them and they run the risk of overrunning him.
Yet he was not afraid of their numbers. He knew they were all reaching out to him. Although it isn’t visible outside, their hearts were restless and fidgeting until he opens his lips. He is the Word. Each ear long for the Word.
In himself he longs to reach out to them too. He wishes to meet every heart and dwell in every heart. He wants to enter every heart. But in his state now, he cannot be united with each. Nor in their state now, they cannot be united with him. Both sides were consumed with the passion of reaching out to the other.
So he gathered them on the land as a shepherd gathers his sheep. He wants to see them as one and address them as one. They were entrusted to him.
And he himself got into a boat and stayed on the water, at a practical distance. It is not a distance that estranges but a distance that gives order. He wants to speak to them. But they would not be able to hear him if he were too near or if he were too far. He kept a healthy distance of space but not of heart. He was already one with them in their state.
He knew their hearts and knew that not everyone is keen on sincerely receiving his message. Not everyone can accept his message. Though some are already ready, more were in need of more work. But he wants everyone to come to him and be one with him. He knew that despite their limitations, eventually each must return to him. So as he had gathered them as one, he addresses them as one. He shouts: “Listen!”
It was a bold proclamation. It was a shepherd calling the attention of his sheep. He spoke and his voice rent the air. It rent the noise buzzing among the crowd. He subdued their restlessness when his words sprang forth and they recognized that he as speaking to each.
He was not just talking to a group but it was as if he was talking to each heart. The world melted away around them. That one word struck them like an arrow penetrating its target. There were no longer we and him but I and Jesus alone. It was just one word but it was enough to put them at ease and the noise died down, the tension relaxed. In front of their eyes was him and him alone.
He knew he captured their attention but he knew them all too well. He had the best of intentions but they were not ready yet. He had to prepare them. He had to teach them how. It all begins by making them aware of where they are.
So he told them the parable of the sower.
He preaches freely and passionately. He does not spare generosity but lavishes his word everywhere and to everyone. He does not choose those he wants to hear but rather wants that everyone hears and listens.
What is this listening? How is this listening? “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
It begins with opening the ears. Not just the physical ears but the ears of the whole being. It is disposing the whole self to receive Jesus. It is sweet silence. It is strong stillness. There is focus. The heart and the mind and the spirit is bent on receiving Jesus.
Then when the soil has been prepared, the seed is implanted within it. It falls down from heaven, cast by the very hands that fashioned the soil. It is God moving forth and striking and penetrating every heart. The soil is at this point a passive recipient if that word.
And when the seed had touched the ground, it disturbs the ground and the humous soul devours it. It become united with it. The passivity has ended. The word that has sprung forth from the lips of Christ, sends a tingling that disturbs my every being. I begin to look deeper into myself and the roots begin to grow deep. The seed has germinated.
In the silence and seclusion inside every heart, the word unravels its mystery. A revelation takes place. God manifests himself more clearly and man sees himself in more light. God and man is united to become one.
Then the germinate begins to grow. It dies not stop in growing roots but longs to breath the air outside. It shoots upright and manifests itself to the world. Although its beginnings were wrapped in mystery inside every heart, it begins to pierce the sky with its shoots. It wants to be known. It wants to make the message it once received reechoed to all around.
It grows, some slow, some fast. It all depends on how each soil provides the nutrients. Nevertheless it grows.
When it has reached maturity, it bears fruit and it multiplies the goodness that was planted initially. Just as the sower was lavish in sowing his seeds, so did the plants lavishly bore fruit.
This is how Jesus preached. This is how we should listen.