Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jesus and His Parables

Jay is an amazing storyteller. And boy does he know how to lay them out perfectly. We were with a couple last week in Tampa who haven't really been around Jay very much. Actually, it was the first time meeting his wife for both of us (love her!!!). Jay kept the husband captivated, literally on the edge of his seat, until the "big reveal" arrived. It was hilarious! Our friend loved every minute of it! Me, on the other hand . . . well, let's just say Colton thinks I make pretty good monster truck sounds! I can write about anything, but don't have the talent my husband possesses!  I know listening to Jesus, the Greatest Storyteller ever with His Parables, was captivating . . . mesmerizing. I can imagine sitting there on the hill or at the shore, hanging on to every word He spoke . . . must have been riveting. At the end, it's all about what you take away from the storyteller. It's developing a relationship of mutual love and respect for each other. It's creating a bond of trust and support. It's listening and hearing the message within the story.

In todays Gospel (Matthew 13:10-17), I don't know about you, but I don't want to be the one of the people in Isaiah's prophecy . . . my eyes are open and the volume in my ears turned up:

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.”

In Volume Seven, St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us to keep our eyes and ears open to hear what God needs us to do:

"Friends, you must keep your eyes open and remain alert. Your faith, your God, is being attacked. There is nothing more precious than your faith. Nothing. Through your faith you will inherit your eternity. Man can take everything from you in this world and it will mean nothing because quickly you will leave this world and truly begin to live forever in heaven. You will
not mourn the loss of your earthly possessions. You will count them as nothings. What you will be most interested in is your response to the loss of your earthly possessions. If you respond in bitterness to God, you will be disappointed. What will give you joy is your faithfulness to God. Stay alert. In situations where your God is being attacked, you must respond. We will help you. You should not respond in anger, although you may be angered. If you are prayerful, you will know exactly what our Lord wishes you to do. We are involved in a spiritual  war, dear brothers and sisters, and you are the soldiers. There is no choice involved, in the sense that the situation will deteriorate even further. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you will be engaged in the war. Jesus requires your help now and you do not want to disappoint Him. If you believe anything at all, believe that statement. You will not want to disappoint Jesus."

Lay apostles, I love reading the Gospel every day. The parables become etched in my brain. And although I have a small capacity to memorize bible verses, I do remember the stories and their meaning. As a lay apostle, the Volumes bring the bible to life for me. Hearing the words of Jesus in the Monthly Messages make the stories richer. Reading Anne's writing makes it clear. Pick up a Volume or read a Monthly Message today. The graces are waiting for you . . . just be alert to His Call!

Thank you, Lord, for choosing me to be a lay apostle. Continue to help me focus on seeing You and listening for Your Direction.

God bless,

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