Daily Gospel Reflection – Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
July 26, 2023
Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.
"But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus explains that he speaks in parables to baffle the crowds, who “look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.” The parables of Jesus are often exercises whose purpose is to confuse and confound the hearer, overturning her expectations and upsetting her theological convictions.
God is just, but in light of the parable of the vineyard owner, one realizes that the ordinary notion of justice only vaguely indicates what divine justice is like. God is compassionate, but after hearing the story of the prodigal son, one knows that divine compassion infinitely surpasses even the most radical mode of human love.
But why is the biblical God so elusive? Because he brought the whole of the finite universe into existence. God must be other in a way that transcends any and all modes of otherness discoverable within creation.