From today’s Gospel, from St Mark: ‘Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow…”’. There follows the parable of the sower. The first word is ‘Listen!’, the same word that begins the Rule of our Holy Father St Benedict.

Our Lord means us to listen not just with our physical ears, but with the ear of the heart. St Benedict explains that we need to ‘incline’ the ear of our heart, that is, to bend down low in humility, in order to catch the resonances of the One who has so humbled Himself as to share in our humanity, in all things except sin.

May we truly learn and practise this listening, in all the activities of our daily lives, and may God bless you abundantly this day.