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The purpose of parables

Gospel Reading: Mt 13:10-17

The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to 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.”

Reflections: Blessed are your eyes

Earlier, Jesus lamented over those who had closed their minds and hearts to his message, perhaps because they were afraid or unwilling to do what his message would demand from them. In contrast, here, he is pronouncing how blessed are those who are listening to him with open hearts, thus seeing what the prophets of old could only dream of. Before their very eyes is the promised Messiah who has ushered the reign of God.

We often fail to realize how blessed we are because we want to dictate God on what blessings God should give us – as if we know what is best for us. In the process, we fail to appreciate the blessings that God already gives us – gifts that other people could only wish they had. Many children of rich families, for instance, squander their parents’ wealth by not taking their studies seriously. Children of the poor, on the other hand, have to quit schooling out of poverty and can only dream of the opportunity.

The challenge is for us to take every gift that comes to us as an opportunity, no matter how seemingly small it is. We cannot live with an eternal sense of entitlement, expecting God to give us everything we wish for.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS,” 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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