Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The parable or the sower we hear today from Matthew’s gospel marks a turning point in the public ministry of Jesus. When Jesus emerged victorious from his tempting within the desert, he embarked upon a public ministry of preaching and teaching which included the Sermon on the Mount. This first phase of ministry came to a close, however, when the Pharisees accuse him of performing his good deeds through the power of Satan and not God.
Jesus’ response to this hardness of heart takes two forms. First, he calls around himself 12 new leaders of the new tribes of Israel, sending them out to accomplish the same works as Himself. Now, he embarks upon the second response to His critics: parables. We rightly see a parable as a type of metaphor, where a concrete image symbolizes a more abstract reality. But the parables of Jesus have another purpose. The parable only reveals its meaning to those with “eyes to see.” To the faithful they communicate their hidden meaning, but the faithless remain in the dark. In fact, what little they have possessed will be taken away from them.
We ourselves will not understand the depths of who Jesus is until we have faith in Him. The faithless eye sees the surface but does not penetrate to the essence. Jesus does not reveal the treasures of His heart except to those who will be guardians of its secrets. Let those with ears to hear, listen!