Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ex 19:1-2. 9-11.16-20b; Matthew 13:10-17)
Flannery O’Connor is a peculiar Catholic American novelist. She is Catholic because she understands the working of grace according to Thomistic theology. She is peculiar because her characters are typically the most strident of her southern, Protestant neighbors. They are ardently evangelical and, sometimes, grotesquely two-faced. When she was asked why she wrote about such strange characters, she answered that when people are near deaf, you have to shout at them.
Jesus responds similarly to the question, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He says, in effect, they paint big, beautiful pictures so common people may appreciate God’s call to reform. On the other hand, they will challenge the sophisticated who find his stories simplistic and his teaching unappreciative of their learning.
In our day the sophisticated tote I-phones and I-pads and have busy schedules that seem to make it difficult to pray regularly and to attend to the needy. They may be like us. We should realize what the parables make obvious: God is our Father who lovingly calls us back to Him through His Son, Jesus the Christ.