By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 21, 2016
July 21, 2016

Gospel 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.”

Reflection:

“The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?”

To His disciples and those who believed in him, Jesus spoke clearly.

But to “the crowd,” He spoke in parables: short stories with a hidden lesson.

“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.”

Jesus spoke clearly to the disciples because they followed Him with open hearts and minds; they were eager to learn with a willingness to repent and make changes in their lives.

However, although many in the crowds listened, they turned away from Jesus and His message because they were not willing to change.

The “mysteries of the Kingdom” are “available” for all who “need” them.

But, Jesus is telling us that “the Kingdom” is only “attainable” for those who “want” it enough to “sacrifice” those things that separate them from God.

Today, parents give their children the same message, “You cannot have your cake and eat it too.”

“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.”

Those who work out at the gym understand that the more you exercise, the more your muscles grow.

It is the same with our beliefs: the more we put our faith into practice, the more it grows. If our faith is weak and we do not “practice it,” then the little we have will soon fade away.

Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophecy:
“lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them”

Jesus is reminding us that God is always hopeful that those who chose the things of this world and turn away from Him will “see” and “hear” and “understand with their hearts” and “be converted” so that He may “heal them.”

Finally, Jesus tells us, “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.”

Those who lived prior to the coming of Jesus had to rely on the interpretation of men whose desire was to know the mind of God.

With the coming of Jesus Christ we have heard the “Word of God” spoken from the lips of God.

God is gentle and non-intrusive in His love. His message is there for us to embrace or reject as our will and hearts dictate.

But, “We cannot have our cake and eat it too.”

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” – – Psalm 51:17



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