On this Sunday the readings have images of nature, water, rain, growing crops, and harvest. Above all, the setting that Jesus uses to throw aside his teaching to his listeners’ lives, is the Lake. Being on the lake we would surely expect him to teach using the example of fishing.
During my free time, I like walking and sitting by the lake shores to admire, reflect, and ponder the calmness and peace of the lake waters. While doing this, I notice that sound travels better, clearly, and louder on the lake than anywhere else. And why this phenomenon? The openness of the lake that is devoid of obstacles facilitates the easy movement of the sound.
Similarly, today in the Gospel, Jesus noticing a huge crowd of people, he entered the boat on the lake and preached to them. By doing this Jesus wanted to communicate his message louder and clear to the crowd listening and hearing him. He certainly wanted them to hear his message and he even went further to tell them, “he who has ears, let him hear.”
Hearing as a covenant language has the dual senses of obedience and love. And by Jesus saying, “He who has ears, let him hear”, he is clearly impelling his listeners to enter into a relationship with him and the Father. A relationship of obedience and love, that can thrive, develop, and flourish by listening to God’s Word, loving it from our hearts that are open to increasing in the knowledge of God and the love of him and our neighbour.
We have no doubts, that, we are living in challenging times that are making it difficult for us to find suitable environments and settings to express our faith as we have done before. Whereas Jesus easily identified a suitable setting to communicate to his listeners, we are struggling to find the best ways to communicate his Word to his believers, especially, when our church setting is limited due to the present pandemic and the health measures. Even amid the other challenging environments, we might be experiencing, such as domestic abuse, early motherhoods, economic constraints, lost academic year, trauma, and the distress that leads to the psychological disorders and even death, and therefore, causing difficulties of us listening, praying, loving, and increasing in Christian virtues, the Word of God has an effect to make us relational and loving disciples. His Word can help us to increase hope and shape our attitude towards the ultimate value of our lives and subsequently, increase charity, mercy, forgiveness, and peace.
This week, we can try to practice, increase, and multiply the goodness of the Lord and transform the world around us. We may want to ask ourselves, what can I/we do to become productive Christian disciples, to my family, Parish community, and my neighbourhood?
Joy and Peace.