Invitation to Community Lectio Divina: Mark 4:26-29

With September we return to our monthly invitations for contemplation. Our focus for this month is harvest. In the northern hemisphere it is the season for gathering the fruits of our labors. What are you called to harvest in your own spiritual garden?

I invite you into a lectio divina practice with some words from the Gospel of Mark.

How Community Lectio Divina works:

button-lectioEach month there will be a passage selected from scripture, poetry, or other sacred texts (and occasionallyvisio and audio divina as well with art and music).

How amazing it would be to discern together the movements of the Spirit at work in the hearts of monks around the world.

I invite you to set aside some time this week to pray with the text below. Here is a handout with a brief overview (feel free to reproduce this handout and share with others as long as you leave in the attribution at the bottom – thank you!)

Lean into silence, pray the text, listen to what shimmers, allow the images and memories to unfold, tend to the invitation, and then sit in stillness.

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”  — Mark 4:26-29

After you have prayed with the text (and feel free to pray with it more than once – St. Ignatius wrote about the deep value of repetition in prayer, especially when something feels particularly rich) spend some time journaling what insights arise for you.

How is this text calling to your dancing monk heart in this moment of your life?

What does this text have to offer to your discernment journey of listening moment by moment to the invitation from the Holy?

What wisdom emerged that may be just for you, but may also be for the wider community?

Sharing Your Responses

Please share the fruits of your lectio divina practice in the comments below (at the bottom of the page) or at our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group which you can join here. There are over 2200 members and it is a wonderful place to find connection and community with others on this path.

You might share the word or phrase that shimmered, the invitation that arose from your prayer, or artwork you created in response. There is something powerful about naming your experience in community and then seeing what threads are woven between all of our responses.

Join the Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group here>>

*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.

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18 Responses

  1. The word that shimmered for me was “harvest,” and I was reminded of the scripture in which Jesus says “The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few,” which is usually interpreted as an invitation to evangelize. And many see the harvest time as a time “yet to come” when Jesus returns. But the Kingdom is within us, and the soil is turned many times as we get glimpses of our true identity in Christ. Our hearts are nourished and continue to bloom and bring forth His fruit.

  2. Thank you for the gift of this lectio divina passage. The word that shimmered for me was “seed”. As Spring begins to warm the soil here in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia and fields are beginning to ripen waiting for a Spring rain, I am aware of the challenge of a waiting time in my life. I am in a process of discernment about my contribution to adult faith formation and offering retreats. The priority of other choices besides retreats, for example, reveals those who are overwhelmed by media, marketing and expectations of others as well as resistance to change. This scenario has the effect on me of wondering if the seeds that have been planted are now dormant and perhaps going to die. Is my work in this area over or are the seeds really growing though unseen? I continue to pray in trust and wait.

  3. I live in the northern hemisphere but have spent the last two weeks in Melbourne, Australia supporting my sister who is here to care for my niece, here on academic exchange and critically I’ll. It is like living cognitive dissidence, experiencing the spring flowers and the crazy Aussies dressed in tank tops while I am wrapped in my scarf wearing boots. My body has been so keenly aware of an about face. This passage talks of not knowing how growth happens, I feel the same thing as I watch my niece fight to get well. Despite all her medications and surgery, in the end it is her will to live which causes healing along with the power of many saints praying. Celebrate the mystery with me.

  4. I have to say live as you would live. moving to this old homestead after being gone for 30 years has been my lectio divina my reading and praying. I dare to relate with the passage in Mark about lying down and waking up the next day to reap my harvest of goodness and blessings. my harvest has been finding my true self and my family being so encouraging and helpful in all ways. I am so overwhelmed by the compassionate response of old friends and new friends. I sit in my new cell which is now a 2 bedroom apartment after leaving my old cell –a one room efficiency and I sit in amazement at the awesomeness of our God and His rich provision. we came here with basically nothing and the Lord has provided us with everything, including a wonderful spiritual campus with hermitages for retreats jus a few miles away. We are truly a gifted people and I do not just mean my wife and I , but all of us who know Jesus and the power of His love.

  5. falling leaves
    falling rain
    torrents into floods
    falling moonbeams
    falling stars
    falling meteors
    falling heads
    falling tears
    falling bombs
    falling bodies
    falling dreams
    falling peace
    what consolation
    Someone whose hands
    infinitely calm
    holding all this falling
    “Unless the Lord build the house…”

  6. I picked up on the word scattered because the fall is a time when I start new projects and focus seems to be all over the place. But the seed was scattered, not planted or in holes because we have to let go of results and just go with the flow. It is trusting that the mystery of the seed will grow no matter where it is planted and I do not have to control the process.

  7. “…because the harvest has come.” There are so many that need to know the hope that is in Christ. Not only salvation, but His presence in the grit of every day life, to be with us, to help us. I am prompted to write more about my husband’s and my Wilderness Years and His faithfulness. I am to put it out there, it us in God’s hands how He uses it, or doesn’t.

    1. We need “the presence of Christ in the grit of everyday life”… I look forward to reading more about how Christ met you in the wilderness, Leslie.

  8. God’s timing is perfect. His ways are far above our ways. Three years ago, we (at my husband’s insistence) made the decision to move our home and business from Point A to Point B. I was heartsick about leaving my wonderful community, but I understood his desire to move the business. However, it took a long time to ready the house for market as we began a weekly three hour commute to Point B, over a mountain Pass, in every season of weather. When the house was finally ready to market, it was the “wrong” time of year to list a house. It was a challenge to make the journey back and forth every week, and we grew impatient, making contingent offers on house after house that fell through. I kept saying, ” I am at peace with God’s perfect timing,” but I have to admit, I was bone-tired and weary from all the labor and waiting. After nine months on the market (what a coincidence!), our house sold, but there were no homes on the market that fit our needs. Then we remembered a house up in the mountains that had been vacant and on the market for three years. Because the owners had waited so long for a buyer, they were overjoyed to work with us and our “meager” budget.We now live in a home that is perched in a boulder-strewn meadow of wildflowers, perched over a singing creek, bordered by the beauty and wildness of a National Forest. I have an art studio, an accommodating library/writing desk, an “Eagle’s Nest”, yoga, meditation and prayer space, two guest rooms, and even an indoor hot tub(!) in the daylight basement! The kitchen and dining room will be welcoming and commodious for guests! It Is a true retreat space! It astounds us, that all the time we were working so hard to find a new home and sell our old one, our loving God had this one set aside for us! His timing was perfect. With our own hands, we couldn’t make the seeds sprout. The wonderful gift He gave us has renewed my husband’s faith. We have joined a community church and this morning he invited me to pray with him again. Oh, how the Gardener loves us. The house is only a metaphor for how lavishly he cares for our most intimate desires.

    1. Thank you. Patricia, for sharing your experience. It is time for me to undertake the house selling, moving process and I have to say I have been reluctant to begin. Your experience encourages me to trust that all shall be well.

  9. Lectio divina has helped me focus on the Word of God. In this passage the image of planting and nurturing remind me that I often must wait patiently. That in time our labors do bear fruit and when they do we need to be ready. Ready to gather up what we worked so hard to produce. Trusting that all will be well, and all will take place in God’s time.

  10. My first experience with the process of lectio divina… What called to me was the phrase “yet he does not know how”… I experienced this as a call to the holy mystery, the “un-knowing” embedded in the kingdom of God. In this way, the word “scattering” resonates with letting go, forfeiting control- for “the soil itself (not me) makes the plants grow.” Looking forward to hearing from others.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Cynthia. That is the same phrase that “shimmered” for me. It was comforting to me to read that phrase, which Jesus could have completely left out. But it speaks to me of a deep trust that I can have of not having to know and understand it all — God will take care of what needs to be done. And I can still benefit from the end result without having to labor over each detail.

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