Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
July 21, A.D. 2005
Exodus 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"Why do you speak to them in parables?" (Matthew 13: 10)
Today's Gospel makes us wonder if our Lord used parables to confuse
some hearers. We know of various teaching methods; probably the most
boring is lecturing, conveying information without engaging one's hearers.
Christ chose a more interesting, thought-provoking means, that of
storytelling, narrating human events and behavior to reveal divine truths.
How, then, are we to interpret Jesus telling His disciples that they "had been
given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to...[others] it had
not been given.?" His answer is the quotation from Isaiah; paraphrased, it
warns that those who distance themselves from God will eventually dull
their hearts and render themselves deaf and blind to Christ's divine gift of
healing their sins and leading them to salvation.
This admonition is strengthened by the parable of the sower; the quality
and quantity of the crop depends on the receptivity of the soil upon which
God casts the seed. What falls on hardened paths, rocky soil or among
thorns cannot root deeply and will perish without bearing fruit. A second
parable, however, shows God's care for all humanity when a farmer tells
his workers to not pull up the weeds from among the wheat and avoid
the danger of also uprooting the good grain. Good and evil must be
allowed to exist side by side in order that we may exercise free will and
so be held accountable for our choices. People do not become loving
and fruitful children of God in isolation. To enter the kingdom of heaven
they are first to be tested on a proving ground fraught with temptations
O Divine Spirit,
strengthen our wills
and guide us through this world's maze of allurements,
that we may emerge worthy of being admitted
into the heavenly kingdom.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Lives of the saints:
The Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and doctor of the Church
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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