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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
In Matthew’s Gospel, Joseph gets the word about the birth of Jesus from an angel. In Luke, Mary does. But in an early, non-biblical story called The Birth of Mary, Joachim and Anne have simultaneous visitations foretelling their daughter’s arrival. He leaves the shepherding fields and she runs from the house, both meeting under Jerusalem’s Golden Gate. There they exchange a kiss of joy because the kingdom of heaven is often like a baby that has no chance of being conceived – and yet it is.
—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com
Lord, some days we are overjoyed with our children’s efforts, values, and decisions; other days we worry so much for their life direction. Some days we feel like award winning parents, other days like parents watching their children drown. We can’t swim and no lifesaving raft exists. Calm our hearts. Remind us that no one loves our children more than you. Give us the wisdom to blend compassion and firmness and may your Spirit guide us to know when to hold tight and when to let go.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team