Subject: Scripture notes: you have given your children the good hope that after sin you will grant repentance
On this Sunday, we go more deeply into the Parable Discourse in Matthew 13. Once more, we have a parable and a “decoding” explanation of the parable, except that this time the parable in all likelihood does not to back to the historical Jesus. It fits better into a “church” situation. The church situation should be familiar: discomfort at the mixed bag making up every community of faith.
The message of the parable is consoling: it is none of your business. If Matthew had just this parable, we would be indeed consoled but he also has a parable of shocking exclusion (Matthew 22:1-14). That parable, in turn, is a comment on the evolving processes of exclusion in Matthew’s own community (see 18:15-17). Today, we feel really uncomfortable about all this. Perhaps the best approach is to stop looking at others and look at ourselves instead. All of us both “in” and not quite “of” in reality.
More positively, for next Sunday the direction of reading is indicated in the wonderful first reading from the book of Wisdom, which reads towards the end as follows,
By acting thus you (= God) have taught a lesson to your people
how the virtuous man must be kindly to his fellow men,
and you have given your sons the good hope
that after sin you will grant repentance.
If only that had been listened to a bit more often!
2. Online Gospel lectures (complete list)
3. Charity Cycle for Welcome Home
Each year, I do a charity cycle for the homeless (Peter McVerry’s Welcome Home). If you’d like to contribute, click on this link here. The cycle is supposed to be on Saturday, 12th September. Even if it doesn’t take place, I’ll do the 140km around the Phoenix Park and try not to get dizzy!!
Kieran O’Mahony OSA