Exodus 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20
Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
Many of us live today in a consumer culture where we are constantly called to accumulate material goods, to have more and more things that make our lives easier, to pursue a life of ease and comfort. In such a culture it is difficult for us to hear the message of the gospel. It is difficult because the gospel message is contrary to the message of the culture in which we live. The gospel message calls us to hardship and sacrifice rather than to ease and comfort. In today's gospel reading we have a particular example of the difficulties involved in following the message and teaching of Jesus.
We learn that the difficulty in hearing and following the gospel
message is not new. The crowds who listened to Jesus during his public
life here on earth had the same difficulties. They found it hard to
open their minds and hearts to hear and understand the words of Jesus.
And when they did listen, they found difficult the things that Jesus asked
of them. We hear the disciples ask Jesus why he speaks to the crowds
in parables. It is a good question; one that they were curious to know
the answer to. Its the kind of question that I think I would have asked
had I been there. So much of what Jesus told the crowds was conveyed
by parables that it seems reasonable to ask the Lord why he spoke in parables.
The answer of Jesus highlights the difference between the disciples and the
rest of the crowd who followed Jesus.
As I contemplate this gospel reading, I think that it is important
to remember that Jesus came into the world for the salvation of all of the
people he met. That includes the disciples and the people in the crowds
as well. Jesus wanted all of them to be saved. In the same way,
Jesus wants all people who read this gospel today to be saved. Whether
we are students like the disciples or beginners like the people in the crowds,
Jesus wants us to listen to him and hear him and follow him. The
message of Jesus is tailored to each of us and our abilities, but his message
is for all of us. We only have to listen.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook