Daily Gospel Reflection - Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
September 17, 2022
Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 8:4-15
When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.
“This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus explains the purpose of the parables: "Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand."
The use of the word "para" in the New Testament signals the failures to see at various levels. The great metaphor here is the blindness of the Jews, a blindness which is identified with disobedience.
The parables of Christ are meant to highlight and point out this blindness, this willful refusal to see. They themselves, in their peculiar form, are judgments on those who cannot see in them signs of salvation.
A parable does its work by turning our ordinary conception of the spiritual world upside-down. And we would be greatly remiss if we did not attend to the instruction that emerges from those startling, funny, off-putting, and strangely enlightening stories that Jesus loved to tell.