Today we hear from the Gospel of Matthew 13: 1-23. It’s a rather lengthy Gospel and there are numerous messages in it. The first challenge we hear is the disciples asking Jesus why he speaks in parables. Jesus simply explains to them that for those who have a relationship with him, no parables are necessary. Because they are committed to Jesus’ way of life, understanding what he says is easier. However, just as we are called to do, Jesus is speaking not only to his disciples but to the crowds around him. Those folks need a story to help them understand. I will admit that stories can help all of us understand the teaching we are trying to grasp. Understanding depends greatly on knowledge of the people who are listening.
Many years ago when preaching was taught in our seminaries, seminarians were told to have some kind of a story to go with the Gospel they were teaching. If the preacher didn’t have a story, it seemed as if something was missing. As we move forward in time and knowledge to the present, stories became optional when preaching. Some people always like to have a story to help them relate to the message, and others are able to grasp the meaning without them.
I think what is important here is that we all listen carefully when the readings are read at Mass. Listen to the message the priest or deacon is trying to get across. Then some seed will fall on rich soil and produce fruit a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold!
Please remember your offertory gifts to the Church. We are struggling to meet our daily obligations. You may place your gift in the basket in the back of the church or sign up for on-line giving with Give Central. It is safe and easy. You may also mail a check to the parish offices.
Peace and All Good!