Saturday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus enlightens the mystery
[Jesus] spoke in a parable. “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.”…. Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that ‘they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts ….Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root ….As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit Lc 8,4-15
The mystery of the Kingdom of God is revealed to those who know how to listen to; the others get in touch with it through parables, “so that ‘they may look but not see, and hear but not understand”. Parables are somewhat impenetrable to them. Only those who fulfill God’s will and endeavor to follow the Lord receive the light to penetrate the mystery of life. Life itself is also a long parable that reveals to us the Lord himself. It is like the cloud that led Israel in its journey out of Egypt: “The column of cloud … came between the camp of the Egyptians and that of Israel. But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed without the rival camps coming any closer together all night long” (Ex 14, 20). For those who endeavor to follow the Lord, he is the light that illuminates the mystery and the mystery and he is in turn the mystery to know. It reminds me of when I used to go “a frega” as a child, on nights of crescent moon, with his uncle Beppe, among the cliffs on the sea of Castiglioncello. Going “a frega” meant to go fishing, taking the spear in one hand and an acetylene torch in the other one in order to cast a light in the water in front of us. In front of that light, fish got dazzled, stopped and we could take them easily. The same goes for the always elusive mystery of life: illuminated by the light of Jesus Christ, it holds still and lets you grab it. For those who do not have the lamp, however, the world is dark and cannot be understood, and the mystery is not grabbed. When you follow the Lord, however, “The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb [Jesus]” (Ap 21, 23). This is what used to happen to me as a boy, when I went “a frega” with Uncle Beppe on summer nights.