AMDG

Just sharing a small reflection I gave at mass yesterday to the group doing a 30 day silent retreat.   Giving a homily to a group in silence – you have to tread carefully.  These guys have been in silence for 10 days and you become very sensitive when you have been immersed in silence.  As a homilist  you have to avoid disturbing the silence too much, or creating too much dissonance –  talking about anything that’s happening ‘in the world’, making statements that might be divisive… etc…. 

In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed he would never speak to them except in parables…….

truthWhy did Jesus only speak to the crowds in parables ?

We remember, later on, at one point the disciples, slightly exasperated, ask Jesus – Why do you speak in parables?   And at times we may share this exasperation…..   Jesus’  answer –  touches on the revealing of mystery …. God is a mystery – the Kingdom of God is a mystery – greater than we can ever imagine – it doesn’t fit easily into our ideas… when we make the mistake of thinking we have grasped the mystery we are further away than ever before …..   So parables allow us to touch on that mystery …. parables honour the mystery ….  and allow the truth of the mystery to grow in us … never exhausted ….. never finished…. The structure of the exercises and the silence can help us to become extraordinarily available to that mystery – so we can be changed by the mystery of God, we can be healed, we can be taught, we can be challenged……  if we have the courage to be open

There is a Yiddish story that maybe,  just maybe,  Jesus was aware of an earlier version of …..

Once upon a time Truth went about the streets as naked as the day he was born. As a result, no one would let him into their homes. Whenever people caught sight of him, they turned away and fled.

One day when Truth was sadly wandering about, he came upon Parable. Now, Parable was dressed

in splendid clothes of beautiful colors. And Parable, seeing Truth, said, “Tell me, neighbour, what

makes you look so sad?” Truth replied bitterly, “Ah brother, things are bad. Very bad. I’m old, very

old, and no one wants to acknowledge me. No one wants anything to do with me.” Hearing that,

Parable said,“People don’t run away from you because you’re old,   I  too am old. Very old. But the

older I get, the better people like me. I’ll tell you a secret: Everyone likes things disguised and

prettied up a bit. Let me lend you some splendid clothes like mine, and you’ll see that the very

people who pushed you aside will invite you into their homes and be glad of your company.”Truth

took Parable’s advice and put on the borrowed clothes. And from that time on, Truth and Parable

have gone hand in hand.