Our culture seems more polarized and divided than ever. Into this wounded situation, our Catholic faith has a healing remedy to offer: the gift of wisdom. When the Lord offers to give King Solomon anything the monarch desires, he requests “an understanding heart” (1 Kings 3:9). In his polarized situation, the King doesn’t ask for power to defeat his enemies. He asks for a wise and understanding heart to judge right from wrong. This wisdom is elevated and fulfilled in Jesus who teaches us to bring forth “both the new and the old” (Matthew 13:52).READ MORE
Life, like the church, is often burdened with evil, smallness, and impurities. The Lord’s parables give us a hope-filled perspective on all three.
Evil: in Jesus’ parable about the good farmer whose enemy plants weeds at night, Jesus tells us that God is not the cause of evil but permits evil to exist with good out of his patient love. He will finally deal with it, but his love lets things stay messy for a time.READ MORE
It’s not uncommon to hear people complain that we Catholics often fail in communicating our faith. Fair enough. We can and should improve there. But it’s interesting to notice that Jesus himself was implicitly accused by his disciples of a similar failure. This week in Matthew’s gospel they are perplexed that he speaks to the crowds in ambiguous parables. The Lord’s riddles leave many people more confused than before. He responds by pointing out that his parables have an intentional dual purpose: to hide (for some) and to reveal (for others) his Gospel: “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted” (Matthew 13:11). Is Jesus being unnecessarily difficult, obscurantist, or, worse, elitist?READ MORE