parables

Mercy: The Path to Healing

“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.“ In one of his first homilies as Pope, Francis had some strong words for us. He said, “I think we [are] people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, […]

Parables About the Kingdom

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

Two Sundays ago, we began working our way through the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel and the seven parables that begin with the Parable of the Sower and end with the Parable of the Net. Each of these parables has a particular theme and lesson. The first four parables teach about the proclamation of the Gospel, the difficulties confronting its reception, and its […]

Why Isn’t My Faith Stronger?

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We all know in general terms what God requires of us. He requires our love of Him and our love of others. He has given us His Church in which to gather and grow as His family. Through worship at Holy Mass and receiving Him in Holy Communion, we are strengthened in faith, hope and charity. Through our prayer and […]

Are you ready to meet Him today?

"The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins by Ernest Karlovich Lipgart" (detail) via Wikimedia Commons

This Sunday, we will hear the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Like Jesus’ other parables, He’s using a scenario that would be familiar to his audience. To understand this parable, it’s helpful to know something about Jewish weddings. While we don’t know a lot of specifics regarding weddings at the time of Jesus, we do know that there […]

Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Photography © by Andy Coan

The parable of the wheat and the tares or weeds is Jesus’ response to those who want to cleanse the Christian community of the impure and imperfect. The Church, in this world, is more a hospital for sinners than a club for saints. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; […]

Nurturing the Gift of Faith

Have you ever struggled with your faith? Maybe you love God, but wonder why you don’t love Him more deeply and why that love does not seem to have a greater impact on your life. Maybe you are inspired by the lives of others you know who seem to be so much more deeply in love with Jesus, and you […]

Sowing and Growing

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed needs to be viewed from two different perspectives in order to unlock its meaning – from that of the sower and that of the seed. Whether sowing or growing – the point is a plentiful harvest and much fruit.  Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year […]

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Photography © by Andy Coan

At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world. Imagine a company where everyone is productive… a government full of honest politicians… a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous. Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough. But the expectation that the […]

The Double Message of The Sower and the Seed

Photography © by Andy Coan

I’ve always loved gardening. The seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber and, of course, zucchini. In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method. Lots of seed cast everywhere. And predictably, many of these seeds do not produce. […]

Parables Lost: “Once Upon a Time…”

Catechesis Corner – Parables Lost: “Once Upon a Time…” by Sister Jeannine Marie, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles In a world where absolutes like truth, goodness and beauty are denied or cheapened, our children need to have these truths embodied in wonder. The parables of Jesus employ simple, ordinary events to present profound and lasting […]