A Reflection on the Daily Gospel by Deacon Kurt Heinrich
Thursday, July 23, 2020
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.”
Dear Friends and Family,
The words of the prophet Isaiah offer us much to ponder today: “Gross is the heart of this people.” The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day did not have the heart to hear His message. Some people learn by hearing with their ears, others are visual learners and respond to what they see, allowing their minds to grow and become stronger. Others gain a deeper wisdom and understanding through their hearts. It’s the heart of the person where we find the covenant relationship with God. Each relationship is different. Some are smooth and cleared of obstacles while others are rough and full of obstructions that must be overcome. The Apostles were ready to see, ready to hear what Jesus had to say.
How is our heart? Is our heart able to navigate the obstacles and preoccupations of the world? Have we prepared our hearts to hear and to see the good news of our Lord? We are the caretakers of our hearts, with God’s help. What do we fill our hearts with and what do we choose to release? The lives we live and the choices we make also contribute to our hearts. We are fortunate because our hearts were restored at our Baptism. We are graced every time we confess our sins because this is where God mends the damage done to our hearts by our poor choices. Our hearts are nourished each Mass when we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We can choose to live “heart” healthy lives with the sacraments and the practice of our faith. God will bless those souls who strive to strengthen their hearts: “more will be given.” Those souls that do not try, will fail: “even what little they have will be taken away.” This is not a punishment but rather the fulfillment of the distorted desire of a wayward heart. While our hearts beat, we have time to change and strengthen our hearts, the very hearts that long to see and hear the Lord.