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 23, 2015
July 23, 2015

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 Pharisees and the Scribes were the ruling religious and civil authority of their day. They established and enforced their own interpretation of Moses’ law.

Citing tradition and creating fear of punishment, they “closed” the minds of the people (the crowds) against Jesus’ message of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness.

Seeing this, Jesus said, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.”

We too may see and hear, but not listen or understand.

Thirty years ago when I was actively alcoholic, many people tried to help me. At the time, my brother Smokey was 14 years sober in Alcoholics Anonymous. He told me about the perils of alcohol and how it was ruining my life. But, I did not have “ears to listen.”

In dealing with our children, we may experience our words falling on “deaf ears” when they become obstinate and cannot see the damage and pain their actions are causing.

To his disciples Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.”

As a modern day disciple of Jesus Christ are my ears and eyes open? And if they are, what is it that I see and hear?

I hear Jesus’ words that we should love one another.

Driving through our cities and towns, I see the suffering and waning hope of my brothers and sisters.

The more important question is: What do I do about what I see and hear?

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17



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