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Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Ex. 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20 & Mt. 13:1-17

God is everywhere yet He is hidden from us. There seems to be a barrier between Him and us which prevents communication. Is this because He deliberately conceals Himself, or is it that we are incapable of hearing what He has to tell us? We cannot know His reasons but God chooses to reveal His mysteries through an intermediary. For the lsraelites, it was Moses; for us, it is Jesus.

When God appeared on Mount Sinai the people of Israel saw only the smoke and lightning flashes, and they heard only the thunder. God was hidden from them in a dark cloud which they could not penetrate. Only Moses, God's chosen spokesman, knew how to open His heart to hear what God wanted to say. This dramatic episode was intended to show the people that Moses was a leader they could trust, a man who was in touch with God. This was important because God called Moses to the top of the mountain for a very special purpose: to give him the Ten Commandments which he was then to pass on to the people.

Jesus' disciples also wondered why God's message was not delivered in a clear and direct manner, accessible to everyone. Why was it necessary to preach in stories and parables? Jesus knew that for the greater part of His audience His words were meaningless. They heard the sound of His voice, but the words He spoke did not reach their hearts and minds. Perhaps they did not want to hear anything which might make them feel uncomfortable, and so they did not allow His message to touch them and change their lives. They set up barriers within themselves so that Jesus' message could not take effect. He could speak directly to the disciples because they had responded to Him and were eager to learn.

What about us? In our busy lives there are so many distractions. We are surrounded by noise and activity, with constant demands being made on us. It is all too easy to be deafened and blinded by the world so that it's difficult to hear the voice of God. If we cannot hear His voice could it be because we are not tuned to His wavelength?

Lord Jesus, we need to make an effort to detach ourselves from all the distractions, to be receptive to the word of God. If we really open our eyes and ears to You, we shall hear Your message and receive the healing You promise.

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