Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
This Gospel passage discusses a topic that has been near and dear to my heart recently: Jesus using parables to teach his message. As a Catholic author who writes books for teens and tweens, this passage reassures me in the value of my work. Jesus had to use stories when preaching because not everyone was ready to hear His message. Parables provided an engaging and often very visual way for Him to help His followers understand Him. He had to make His message accessible to them, so He included stories about farmers, widows, masters and servants. This was their world; these were characters they could relate to.
At times, we may feel frustrated in our ability to pass on the faith to the next generation. Children, especially teenagers, may seem hard to reach. Perhaps this is when we need to take a page from Jesus’s lesson plans. How can we share the faith in ways they will understand? Which of our own stories might they be able to relate to? Are there stories of young saints that may be an inspiration to them? Can we even use the novels they read or the movies they watch to teach our values and how they may contradict what they see in the world today?
The next time we want to broach a difficult topic with our children, we might want to consider how storytelling can help. Instead of launching into a list of dos and don’ts, we might use stories that illustrate the consequences of our actions. Sharing our own true stories from our faith journeys might give young people a way to grasp our message in the same way Jesus used stories for those who had difficulty hearing His message.
Whom do I know that might benefit from hearing a story from my faith journey?
Lord, may my eyes and ears be open to Your teachings in whatever ways they come, and may You guide my words so that I can share Your message effectively with those who have trouble hearing it.
Copyright 2017 Amy J. Cattapan
A.J. Cattapan is an award-winning author, speaker, and middle school English teacher. Her debut young adult novel, Angelhood, has been an Amazon bestseller in Christian teen fiction and won two awards. Her second novel, Seven Riddles to Nowhere, tells the story of a boy trying to save his Catholic school from closing. Follow her at www.ajcattapan.com.