Exodus 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20
Three months after they came out of the land of Egypt, on that day the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sinai. From Rephidim they set out again; and when they reached the wilderness of Sinai, there in the wilderness they pitched their camp; there facing the mountain Israel pitched camp.
The Lord said to Moses, ‘I am coming to you in a dense cloud so that the people may hear when I speak to you and may trust you always.’ And Moses took the people’s reply back to the Lord.
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will descend on the mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people.’
Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder. The Lord came down on the mountain of Sinai, on the mountain top, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain; and Moses went up.
The disciples went up to Jesus and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:
You will listen and listen again, but not understand, see and see again, but not perceive. For the heart of this nation has grown coarse, their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, for fear they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted and be healed by me.
‘But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’
The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you…
During my Literature class, we defined parables as stories that have moral lessons. Many of these are taken from the Bible. The characters in the story assist in depicting its moral content.
In today’s Gospel, the disciples asked Jesus why He talked in parables. Jesus explained that there are people who cannot understand even if they listen repeatedly. There are people who cannot perceive even though they see the things repeatedly. It is through the parables that these people were able to understand and perceive. Because of this, the disciples should be glad that they were able to understand even without using parables.
Humans are naturally not contented with what they have. We look for something we do not have without savouring what is before us. We sometimes neglect to see things that are more important. We always ask for more without realizing that what we have is already enough. And this desire for more makes us deaf to what we should hear, blind to what we should see, and numb to what we should feel.
Earthly treasures are our tools for us to live comfortably. However, those are just tools and must not be the main priority in our life. When we earn more, do we share more? Or do we keep more of it and share less? Having many resources does not mean that we have to give everything out. Let’s take a look at ourselves — are we more generous when we have more? Or is it the other way round? This simple use of our wealth contributes to our way of seeing, hearing, and feeling things. Does it make us more empathic to other people’s needs? Or does it make us care less for others?
The Gospel teaches us that if our riches are put into good use, then our blessings will be more. But if these riches stagnate, then they will be taken from us. Having material possessions is not necessarily bad. But if these things make us move away from Christ’s teachings, then these treasures a become hindrance for us to see, hear, and feel God in our lives.
If we truly heard, understood, and felt the word of God, these riches would be very useful as we strive towards the kingdom of heaven.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer – Father God, please open our ears to hear your words. May You open our eyes to see what You want us to see. And may we also desire the things that you desire for us.
Thanksgiving – We thank you Lord, for all the graces that we receive. Thank you for giving us more than enough to live this life. Thank you for our community who helps us to grow in our faith.