Jul 14, 2017
Leaving our front door unlocked
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables”. Matthew 13:1
We can’t keep Christ under house arrest. And sometimes, that’s what we do. We keep him private, away from the crowds. Our Lord went down to the harbor, where the crowds where. He didn’t stand on the shore and look into the vastness of the ocean. Instead he get’s into a boat (which is often used as a symbol of the Church), and from there He looks at the whole crowd of humanity, upon the faces of everyone – yours and mine. Christ wants to look into my face, into my eyes. And what will he see?
Every face in the crowd tells a story, a life. Christ does not speak to a crowd. He speaks to the individual soul. For that reason he speaks in parables – coded language because not one of our lives is really the same. His parables can sometimes go over someone’s head. Sometimes they appear to be just nice stories, like storybook illustrations. But if we ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds and our souls to the Word of God, taking time to listen, to read his parables again and again, slowly, and carefully we will often see our lives somehow reflected in the images Christ creates in his illustrations - there often reaches that sacred moment in our lives, when we know that he is speaking to me, individually, personally in the uniqueness of my life and circumstances. Christ is looking into my eyes, into my life!
Back to that first line – “Jesus went out of the house”. How did he get in the house to begin with? The final verses of the previous chapter of the Gospel we heard today tell us that Our Blessed Mother came to visit Him while He was preaching in the middle of a great crowd of people. No doubt, after He had finished, Our Lord took His mother to a private house to spend some time with her. And then what we heard read in the Gospel today picks up what happened next. “On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around… And he spoke to them at length in parables”
Having spent some quiet time with His Mother, which parable did He go on to speak to the crowd about? God as the sower and the Word of God as the seed! Could our Lord have been thinking of His Mother when He told the crowd that “But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit”? For what do we say concerning Our Blessed Mother, “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”.
If we are to hear God’s Word speaking to us in the secret of our lives, let us do so imitating Mary who not only received and understood that Word but who in turn gave that Word to the world so that we might hear Him speaking into the depths of and circumstances of our lives.
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