✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – July 21, 2022: Thursday

“May the Word of the Lord – and in particular, the Parables – turn out to be a powerful form of mass media – effecting transforming changes in us!”

(Based on Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13 and Mt 13:10-17 – Thursday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

Every form of mass media has some kind of an influence on its audience or users.

Some forms of mass media are more powerful and influential…
Some others are lesser…

There is a sense of identification that users have with the content of the Mass Media.

For example:

A scene in a movie may make its audience to burst out laughing, to shed tears at an emotional scene or even induce anger at seeing a disturbing scene.
A commentary or a nice song or jingle or a funny comment by the host in a radio program may make the listeners to smile, to be excited or to be just relaxed.
A meme that is seen on the social networking site or a video or a picture that is shared through mobile social apps like WhatsApp, may make the user to reflect deeper or to feel happier or draw out of ignorance

The Gospels are also a great and effective form of mass media…
… sharing the message of God’s love to all
… spreading the news of the Kingdom to all
… reaching out the compassion of the Lord to all

One of the important composition of the Gospel is in the form of “parables”

The Gospel of the Day, presents the dynamics of Jesus using “parables” as an effective method of communication of the message of the Kingdom of God.

The passage begins with an enquiry by the Disciples:
“The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” (Mt 13:10)

The Gospel of St Mathew is generally structured comprising of The Five Discourses…

The Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5-7)
The Sermon for the Mission (Chapter 10)
The Sermon in Parables (Chapter 13)
The Sermon of the Church (Chapter 18)
The Sermon on Eschatology (Chapters 23-25)

The Thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of St Matthew is the “Sermon in Parables”

Jesus was a master story-teller.

He presented the mighty mysteries of the Kingdom in plain parables.

The parables, however, had two contrasting aspects to it…

On one side, they were simple and revealed many things

The parables of the Lord were based on everyday experiences of the people and local practices, customs and culture.

This contextualization helped the people to easily connect with the message that Jesus wanted to convey.

On the other side, they were complicated and concealed many dimensions

The parables of the Lord would neatly conceal many of the complicated dimensions of the mysteries of the Kingdom.

This concealing caused many people to misunderstand, misinterpret Jesus as well as the message that He wanted to convey.

This dual aspect in the “parables” of Jesus: simple and revealing many things, yet, complicated and concealing many dimensions, had a dual effect…
… to many, it generated interest, a sense of wonder and made way for deeper reflection and personal transformation
… yet, to many others, it failed to make any impact, or even made them to close their hearts in receiving the truth of the Lord

The Parables of Jesus, therefore, also sparked two types of hearers…

  1. Supporters and believers
    Those who heard and understood the parables, and had their life transformed – growing closer to the Lord and becoming effective missionaries of the Kingdom!
  2. Opponents and skeptics
    Those who heard, but with minds were closed to the message of the Parables, and had their hearts hardened – distancing themselves from the Lord and turning to be adversaries of the Kingdom!

Through Prophet Jeremiah, the Lord reminds us: “… I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown…” (Jer 2:1)

And makes us aware: … “for My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!” (Jer 2:13)

The Word of the Lord – especially through the Parables – is delivered to each one of us.

What effect does the Word have, on our lives…

Do we remain open to its message and thus grow to be a supporter of the Kingdom and Believer in the Lord….?
… or do we close my hearts to its truths and thus reduce ourselves to be an opponent to the Lord and a skeptic of the Kingdom of God…?

Jesus used the “parables” as an effective method of communication of the message of the Kingdom of God…
… to share the message of God’s love
… to spread the news of the Kingdom
… to reach out the compassion of the Lord

Do I find a sense of identification with the message of the Parables…
… or do I remain closed and hard-hearted?

May the Gospel – and in particular, the Parables – turn out to be a powerful form of mass media – effecting transforming changes in us!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission.
The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God.
He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without measure.”
This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.
On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit, a promise which He fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost.
Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age.

Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn. (CCC # 1286-1287)

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