Daily Reflection for Thursday, July 23, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: Click here:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Jeremiah 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Responsorial: Psalm 36: 6-11
Gospel: Matthew 13: 10-17
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Matthew 13:13
I have often found myself mildly irritated when Jesus would launch into another parable about farming or fishing or servants … things which I have real trouble personally relating to in my modern world. I know that these were common professions and themes which folks at the time could relate to, but 21st century me hasn’t fished in decades and doesn’t depend on his little garden for his living. Why couldn’t he just speak plainly and tell us what he wants us to know?
Of course, he is speaking plainly. I’m just not hearing, which is the entire point of this reading. To me, this seems like a very common human failing. Sometimes we are distracted and misunderstand what was said. Sometimes we hear what we want to hear. Sometimes we listen to the words but don’t hear what the other person is actually saying and interpret it differently.
This reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a good friend. He recently got married and asked me for advice on the keys to a good marriage. I didn’t have anything profound or original to offer, but it centered on the idea of communicating and listening. Most of the arguments in my home don’t center around any profound differences of opinion, but simple misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion by failing to hear what the person is trying to say. Just this past weekend, my wife and I ended up arguing about something minor only to figure out that we were agreeing with each other!
The message that Jesus wants us to hear is far more consequential. He wants “our hearts to be converted,” for us to be healed, and to reveal “the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven.”
We have to be prepared to hear someone. We have to give them our full attention, which is often my problem in my personal relationships. I know that it is often my problem hearing Jesus. I don’t give him my full attention. I’m distracted by the useless idols of our modern existence—iPhones, work, politics, or whatever guilty pleasures we succumb to in order to fill up our day.
Today take some time and make yourself available to hear what God is trying to say to you. Remove yourself from those distractions for a bit to allow the Word of God to dwell in you so that you might hear what He is calling you to do.
Peace and blessings,