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.
Jesus’ disciples are not only open to Jesus, but they actively seek Jesus. This gospel tells us that if we want to truly see and listen, as the disciples did, we must constantly look and listen for Jesus. We are challenged to live a life of intention and purpose in our pursuit of Jesus. We will only understand the parables of Jesus if we are open and receptive to them, rather than closed off, complacent, or too busy. As disciples we should use our eyes and ears to find moments in our lives where Jesus is unfolding a parable before us.
How might the world be different if everyday the goal was to listen and see with an openness to finding God’s hidden presence? Is there a place in my life Jesus might be speaking to me, trying to tell me a parable, in which I am not listening?
—Samantha Grady is currently completing her Masters in Theology degree at Loyola University Chicago.
The Risen Christ is with us this day,
And He continues to need each one of you.
Jesus needs your eyes to continue to see.
He needs your strength to continue to work
He needs your voice to continue to speak.
He needs your hands to continue to bless.
He needs your heart to continue to love.
—Cardinal Joseph Bernardin