The Gospel according to Matthew (13:10-17)
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them. But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Reflection: If you ever had to give someone bad news, you know how hard is to do. First you must gather up the courage, then think about how and when you want to tell them the news. Sometimes we may even beat around the bush and drop hints so we can soften the blow. The point is, it’s tough to be direct when what we need to share is difficult.
Jesus’ ministry was multifaceted. He healed, resurrected the dead, shared meals, conversations, preached, and taught. As a teacher, at times, he was very direct. Other times he would answer questions with other questions. In today’s gospel he uses parables to teach his followers and those who were present. Parables are meant to engage the listener and make them work to reach a conclusion. If the message reaches a person searching for the truth with sincerity and humility, then it enables the hearer to grow in faith and understanding. However, if it reaches someone set in their ways and unwilling or unable to recognize the truth then it has no effect.
If we are honest, we can all say we experience both dispositions and attitudes. On any given day we can be fertile soil that allows the seed of truth and faith to grow by leaps and bounds. Other days we are full of weeds and thorns. We may go through the motions of prayer, liturgy, and even acts of charity but are dead inside. What can we do to have more days or moments where our eyes, ears, and hearts are wide open? That is a question only you can answer. However, you are not alone. You have me and I have you. We are surrounded by fellow pilgrims on our way home. We have access to daily mass, prayer, fellowship, ministry, etc. We have the Sower of the Seeds in our hearts, the Holy Spirit, to guide and teach us, and Our Father willing to run to meet us if we stray and return home.
We can consider ourselves blessed to be among those who have knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. Our call is to be the Good News everywhere we go and with everyone we meet.
Action of the Day: No mattter where we are in our faith journey we know less than some but more than others. Make it a point to share your faith in a tangible way today. Preach, teach, clarify, accompany someone who needs the Good News delivered by your presence.