Pastor's Desk: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:
The Deep End - The Parable Experience: Engage
Parables are not simply a ‘story with a moral’; they are much more than that. Parables speak to the heart and command an alertness to all that is said and all that is unsaid. We need to pay attention to the detail, but must also be careful not to miss the hidden meaning in the parable experience. And it is an experience. The parable does not end once we are finished hearing or reading it. It stays with us; disturbs us; forces us to ponder. Parables should awaken our senses.
Today’s parable highlights the various ways that we do not allow God’s word to penetrate deep into our hearts and minds. Jesus tells the disciples: ‘The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen”.’ Jesus emphasises the enormous harvest that is waiting for those who really ‘open their ears’. Recently, I saw a YouTube clip of a 40 year old woman who was able to hear for the first time thanks to cochlear implants. It was an emotional clip to watch and she cried and laughed and shouted with joy. She explained how ‘the switch-on was the most emotional and overwhelming experience of my life’. If we are open to the parable experience, if the soil is truly receptive, perhaps the Word can affect us in the same way. In the coming Sundays we hear the parables of Matthew 13. Perhaps we can hear them again for the first time.