Thursday, XVI Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Blessed are your eyes, because they see

Readings: 1st: Jer 2:1-3. 7-8.12-13; Ps: 35; Gos: Mt 13:10-17

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is the Thursday of the sixteenth week of ordinary time. In today’s gospel, amazed by their master’s method of teaching, the disciples of Christ asked him a very important question.

According to Carl Sagan: “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions and questions put after inadequate self-criticism. Every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question” (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Ballantine Books, 1997).

One of the best ways to learn is to ask questions. A student who is too shy, afraid or proud to ask questions may not learn much from his teacher. Through questions, one gets clarifications and more insights on a particular issue.

Hence one very popular Igbo proverb says: “Onye ajuju anaghi efu uzo.” This simply means, that: “One who asks questions never misses his or her way.”

On many occasions the disciples of Christ asked him different questions on important issues (Mk 13:3-4; Lk 21:7; Jn 12:34; Acts 1:6-7).

So, today’s gospel speaks to us about the discourse on the parables. After using many parables to teach about the kingdom of God, the disciples of Christ were courageous enough to ask him: “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?

A parable can play two roles at the same time. It can reveal and hide information. However, this depends on who it is spoken to. Those who are acquainted with it comprehend its message immediately.

On the other hand, it leaves those who are not acquainted with it in the dark while wondering what it means.  So, for these, parables hide an important message unless it is eventually unlocked for them.

Hence, Christ’s response to the question of his disciples simply reminds us that he uses parables because it reveals his messages to those who have truly accepted and believed in him as the messiah.

Therefore, by spending extra time with Christ, he explains the meaning of the parables to his disciples and through them, he reveals the secrets of the kingdom to them. Hence, the closer we are to Christ, the more he revels himself to us. Also, we become more acquainted with the secrets of God’s kingdom.

Let us pray with Paul that, “the Holy Spirit may always enlighten the eyes of our hearts” (Eph 1:18), so that, we may fully understand what God always tries to reveal to us in our daily encounters with him.

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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