July 16th, 2017

Published on Jul 15th, 2017 by Parish Office | 0

Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1877 Oil on Copper Det Nationalhistoriske Museum på Frederiksborg Slot, Public Domain

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

There are lots of ways to understand the meaning of parables and Jesus’ answer to the question of why he uses them. It seems strange for him to say that the parables are so the disciples will understand and others will not understand. Why wouldn’t he want everyone to understand?

One approach is to recognize that to understand the parables would require effort. Most of them had surprising endings and were very challenging not only to understand, but to accept. We might connect this with the frequent misunderstandings of the apostles and the expectations of the people of what the “messiah” should do.

So, the answer might be that Jesus wanted us to work at understanding. If we understand with our preconceived notions, we will not understand the truth. We will simply place our own values into the words of Jesus and think we understand. In truth, often, our understanding is far from the truth.

This same point is brought out in the parable given today. If we think we understand, we are more like the path which is hard and does not allow the seed to penetrate where it will grow. We need to seek to be like the fertile soil that receives the seed, nurtures it and allows it to live. We are then called to cradle the word of God, including the parables, and with care allow it to take life within us.

With Love,

Fr. Tom

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