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Matthew 13:10-17

The Word of God

Then the disciples came and asked him, 'Why do you speak to them in parables?' He answered, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that "seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand." With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
"You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people's heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn-
and I would heal them."
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell 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.

Matthew 13:10-17
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The words of the song 'The Boxer' by Paul Simon, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” witness to the fact that we are highly selective as to what want to hear and see and understand with our heart. In today’s reading Jesus appeals to us “to look with our eyes and listen with our ears and understand with our heart” so that he might heal our sense of insignificance that so often stands in the way of our belief in the Good News.
    • Spend some time with Jesus and his desire to reveal to you “the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”. Ask his help to be open to his love and to the immense worth it offers you.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Am I one of those who look without seeing, or hear without understanding? Jesus speaks in parables to challenge us out of our laziness, seeking the deeper meaning of things. How easy to be distracted, especially nowadays when we feel overwhelmed by too much information and images without any insight.
    • Jesus calls me blessed and happy, for I am a witness of his presence, unlike many prophets and holier persons who were living in expectation. I ask for a greater awareness of this presence, and for a deep joy in being a member of the Kingdom.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • What are the secrets of the Kingdom of God? To know the Lord Jesus personally, to understand his work of salvation on the cross, and to realise that we are infinitely loved. What a privilege it is to know these things!
    • How blessed I am to have the Holy Scriptures. But as Jesus speaks to me right now, am I listening to him? Am I open to his Word or do I sit with fingers in my ears?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus spoke in parables so that the meaning of his teaching could take root in the lives of those he taught as the message seemed to have escaped from some of them. He hoped that his hearers would receive the message of the kingdom of God anew in their hearts by reflecting on the images he presented.
    • Are there times when I need to take a step back from the busyness of my life in order to attune myself to the message of Jesus? I ask him now to fill me with a greater awareness of his presence so that I can accept the gifts of love, joy and peace which he offers me.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • It may seem strange that Jesus was prepared to be misunderstood but, like every good teacher, he wanted his hearers to do some work themselves. He wanted them to receive the word in their hearts and to make the personal connections that would make his message meaningful. I take some time to appreciate the fact that Jesus trusts me to understand his message in my particular way.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Some people find faith easy, others find it impossible. But it would be wrong to think that a good God deliberately shuts anyone out from belief. Instead, Jesus is emphasising by contrast how blessed the disciples are. I thank him that I do see and hear, and that I know the secrets of God. I ask to cultivate this gift by becoming more intimate with God in my prayer.
    • The Hebrews had a very exalted appreciation of Yahweh, and so were inclined to ascribe everything to God. Thus for instance they thought that it was God who hardened the heart of Pharaoh against them (Exodus 7:3). Today’s Gospel is written from this viewpoint. But in fact one of the ‘secrets of the kingdom’ revealed by Jesus is that God desires everyone without exception to be saved. Do I pray for this?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus speaks in parables so that his meaning may take root in the soil of my life: only I can, in my prayer, receive the word of God that is addressed to me. I quiet the voices of my habits and of usual interpretations, listening for the whisper that speaks to my heart.
    • Even though he offers life in abundance, Jesus accepts that there are those who will learn nothing. I do not have to be anxious about them, but pray with compassion for all who have not found the source of life.
    • Jesus offers me more, strengthening me faith, building me up in love, nurturing my hope.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The events of Jesus' ministry seem to go over the heads of some of their bystanders. They do not believe. His words seem to pass them by. So he will tell them stories and hope they will see behind the words to the meaning of those stories. Parables will highlight some of the truths of life and of God, and people who may miss the obvious will get the message. Every story Jesus tells will throw some light on God, the world and the self. These questions can be a good starting point to praying the parables.
    • Jesus speaks in parables so that his meaning may take root in the soil of my life: only I can, in my prayer, receive the word of God that is addressed to me. I quiet the voices of my habits and of usual interpretations, listening for the whisper that speaks to my heart.
    • Even though he offers life in abundance, Jesus accepts that there are those who will learn nothing. I do not have to be anxious about them, but pray with compassion for all who have not found the source of life.
    • Jesus offers me more, strengthening me faith, building me up in love, nurturing my hope.