Scripture: Lectionary 398: Jeremiah 2:1-3.7-8.12-13. Psalm 36:6-7.8-9.10-11. Matthew 13:10-17:
From my experience about prayer I have found that listening is a great part of prayer. Scripture helps us to listen and to search for meaning in what we hear. This is the type of prayer we need when we hear Jesus speaking to us in parables; this is precisely, what happens in most of chapter 13 in our continuous reading from Matthew. Most parables about the kingdom of God are in Matthew.
Prayer also means responding to what we hear and this means a form of either speaking silently to God or joining others in our speaking and singing at the sacred liturgy we are celebrating.
Jesus speaks the parable of the sower to his disciples, apostles, and the crowd. Those who truly are attentive and listen to what he is saying are called blessed for they have entered into words about eternal life and words that are connected with the kingdom of God here on earth. The apostles and disciples have listened and understood; perhaps, many in the crowd do the same. Many however do not really listen to what they have heard and thus have been unable to understand the meaning of the parable. Matthew cites Isaiah 6:1-9 to explain why some have not grasped what the parable was telling them: “They have scarcely heard with their ears, they have firmly closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears.” We recall how Matthew carefully chooses texts from the Hebrew Scriptures to explain what is happening to those who see and hear Jesus or experience what he is doing.
Praying the Scriptures is an important way to learn how to listen to the living voice of Jesus. We first need to be silent in order to hear the meaning of his parables and thus learn from the wisdom teachings of Jesus. These then become food for our journey. Those who listen learn to deepen their faith in the mysteries of the reign of God. We then are able to believe more firmly in Jesus as the Word of God who speaks to us in our human words. They start to make sense and we truly are blessed when they do. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.