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(Part 144)


July 23, 2015
Today’s gospel
: Matthew 13:10-17

We have been called to the New Evangelization. Many do not understand this call. It is a prophetic call by the Holy Spirit, with great relevance in our times, directing us in the way our Church is to go. For us in CFC-FFL, this is LCSC. But the call to the New Evangelization is like the parables of Jesus. Unfortunately, many do not understand and many do not listen. We have eyes to see and ears to hear, but “they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.” (v.13b).

Parables seek to impart “knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (v.11a). But understanding a parable necessitates reflection, humility, and being open to explore its meaning. The mysteries designate a divine plan for the life of the world that can be known only when revealed. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven point to the reality that the Kingdom of God has become present in the ministry of Jesus, and for us today, in the continuing work of the Holy Spirit. To see and to hear is to recognize these realities.

Jesus refers to Isaiah’s prophecy that is fulfilled (v.14a). This is in Isaiah 6:8-10. Isaiah was called by God and sent to speak to His people (Is 6:8). But God’s people would not hear and see. “Listen carefully, but do not understand! Look intently, but do not perceive!” (Is 6:9). Why would God’s people not understand or perceive? Because their hearts were hardened and they were not open to God’s words or plan. “Make the heart of this people sluggish, dull their ears and close their eyes” (Is 6:10a).

Such was the case not only in the time of Isaiah, but also in the time of Jesus. “Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes” (v.15a). Unfortunately, such is still the case today. God’s people (and even leaders in our Church and community) do not see or hear. They have not been open to God’s revelation. They have not expanded their vision. They have not recognized the movement of the Holy Spirit leading the Church into the New Evangelization.

If only they would not harden their hearts, if only they would be more open to God’s revelation through His prophets and visionaries, then would “they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted” (v.15b). Then they would be made whole, then they would begin to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom, then they would be attuned to the movement of the Spirit for the life of the world. Then Jesus would bless them and “heal them.” (v.15c).

Being open to God’s revelation enables one to receive further understanding and enlightenment and wisdom about His revealed mysteries. But for those who remain closed (eyes, ears, heart), God will not work, and they will end up farther away from the designs of God. “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.” (v.12). Those who see and hear will perceive and understand, and will thus enter more deeply into the mysteries of the Kingdom. Those who do not will eventually fall away.

Humble your hearts. Open your eyes. Listen intently. Be blessed and flow with the Spirit. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.” (v.16a).

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