When the Dots Don’t Connect

Thursday of Week 16 in Ordinary Time


We like things to make logical sense … that is, as much as we can grasp logical thinking. But when Jesus was telling people about the Kingdom of God, he definitely had the added challenge of his listeners having neither the capacity or the language to catch his drift. Logical thinking aside, some things just don’t necessarily compute. Take for instance that time he was confronted by some Saducees who threw him the wild tale of a woman whose husband dies, and she successively marries each of 6 other brothers who also die without having children. Then the woman herself dies. Whose wife shall she be in the resurrection of the dead? And Jesus must have thrown his hands up in frustration. Clearly their perspective was of this world, consistent with the Law of Moses, but totally devoid of Jesus’ understanding of the resurrection. It’s like he was telling them about a world they just couldn’t relate to. They would mock him for their lack of understanding. But it wasn’t completely their fault.

So Jesus explains to his disciples why he spoke in parables. It seems he didn’t really intend for his listeners to grasp his meaning. In reality, he was acknowledging the challenges and obstacles to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, some of which we are responsible for, but some others are just the consequence of our finite minds. God alone gives the gift of wisdom and understanding. God alone touches our hearts. We can open ourselves to the light of God’s Spirit. We can remove the obstacles of our pride and arrogance, our lust and our jealousy, our avarice and our anger. God alone knows when we are ready for his gift.

Consequently, we should not lose heart when we attempt to explain what we know and experience of God to people who cannot grasp our. meaning. Jesus didn’t succeed 100%, neither will we. But we need to keep at it because God speaks through our words, and God shines through our example and way of life. We all don’t get the privilege and burden to preach in church, but by our kindness and our patience, our joy and our persistence, we are instruments in God’s hands for proclaiming Good News. If our parents and school teachers gave up so easily, none of us would reach the heights of academic excellence and wisdom in later life. If you grasp that lesson, thank a teacher today.

We offered this mass for the repose of +Elizabeth Scarpello.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020