Thursday July 23, 2020
Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“A skilled listener can help people tap into their own wisdom.” (Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM) We might apply this thought to our Gospel reading today. The focus in Matthew 13: 10-17 seems to be on the difference between hearing and listening.
In our first reading from the Prophet Jerimiah, God’s asks Jerimiah to remind the Israelites of their story of faith because they have not listened. They have followed the ways of the world around them. They are on the road to ruin. They need to not just hear but to listen to the Word of God.
We all hear unless we have some physical impediment to hearing but often, we fail to listen. I believe that is what Jesus is getting at in the Gospel. People hear his parables, but they do not listen to them. They do not take them to prayer. They do not reflect on them and thus they miss the point of them. We can always hear things as Isaiah is quoted in the Gospel but unless we listen, we will not understand.
Jesus is teaching his disciples to listen. Jesus is teaching us to listen. I very much enjoy using the parables of Jesus when I preach because if we really listen to them, they have a lot to tell us. Often, if not always, when I use a parable in my preaching, I learn something new because while preaching I am also listening.
Jesus was certainly a skilled listener, the most skilled listener and that is why he helps us tap into the wisdom that God graces us with each day, all we need to do is listen!
Have a blessed, holy, safe, and healthy Thursday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart!