Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13 Psalm 36:6-11; Matthew 13:10-17
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you.” (Matthew 13:11)
It’s a funny thing about Jesus’ parables. We are so familiar with them that we don’t think about how challenging they must have been to the people who first heard them. What was the good soil supposed to be? And what about the weeds, the birds, and the rocky path? Who could possibly decode the meaning of this story? Even Jesus’ closest disciples had to ask him what he meant.
But perhaps that was Jesus’ intention all along. Maybe he wanted his followers to mull his words over and over in prayer until the Spirit finally unveiled their meaning to them. Maybe he was looking for people like his mother Mary as she pondered all the mysteries that she witnessed in raising her son.
How different this is from our expectations! In this era of Google and Yahoo, we have come to expect immediate answers delivered to us without our having to probe or think deeply. Can you imagine someone in Jesus’ time rushing home after the Sermon on the Mount to look up the “blessed are the poor in spirit” or to decode his parable of the wise and foolish builder? No, if they wanted any answers, they would have to spend the time praying and figuring it out on their own.
Jesus wants us to be patient as we seek him out as well. It’s not that he’s playing hide-and-seek with us. He just knows how many blessings flow to those who persist in prayer and study. If we devote just an hour or two a week to this kind of prayer, we’ll begin to see real results. We can consult the Catechism or Bible commentaries for light on a particular Scripture passage, and then ask the Spirit to shine that light even more brightly as we ponder what we have read.
Imagine the results you’ll find as you do this. You will receive much more than the specific answers you’re seeking. Not only will you see what a specific parable or saying means; you’ll also see Jesus himself much more clearly. And that vision will change your heart!
“Lord, I want to hear your voice and walk according to your ways. Give me a heart that is willing to sit with you, a heart that longs to be in your presence.” ~WAU