1 Timothy 6: 13-16
Luke 8: 4-15
Studying the theoretical aspects of the New Testament environment is one thing but experiencing it firsthand by walking through the actual location is another. While walking by, I noticed some locals who had small objects tied to their foreheads. They called that tefillah. It is not just one of the accessories for the Jewish community but a way to fulfill the Torah’s instructions, specifically Sh’ma Yis-ra-eil (Dt. 6:4-9).
I, like you, have heard and read the parable of the Sower repeatedly. However, this time I am drawn to the final part of verse 8 which says “Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!”
The Synoptic Gospels introduced us to the Greek term “Akouo,” which simply means the ability to hear. However, I wonder if the evangelist’s intention is limited to just this. Let’s not forget that Jesus is a Jew who speaks Aramaic. It’s possible that “Akouo” is just a Greek translation of “Shama,” which would make a significant difference! Although it is still translated as “Hear” in English, in the Hebrew context, it’s not just merely hearing, but it also involves active listening and obeying what has been heard.
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Padre Pio, who serves as an excellent example of someone who listens and obeys their beliefs. At just five years old, he displayed remarkable religious devotion that impressed many. Despite being blessed with spiritual gifts, he remained humble. He also endured physical illness, and bodily wounds which correspond to those of the Crucified Christ but never lost faith. In fact, he offered up his suffering for the conversion of souls.
As practicing Catholics who used to read the Bible and listen to many sermons, we feel compelled to follow its teachings and put them into action as what St. Paul wrote to Timothy in the first reading. Whether our hearts are like wayside, stony, or thorny in the parable, one must not be complacent. Every day is an opportunity to improve oneself, bear fruit, and share it with others, that serves as our “tefillah” from and for God.
Sr Rosana Estoque CP is a Passionist Religious, and the Pastoral Associate at St.Brtigid’s Chruch, Marrickville.