Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: MT 14:22-33, Homily

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Gospel

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Cover Art, Column, and Prayers of the Faithful

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Bulletin Column

August 9, 2020

Dear Believers in the Christ,

I grew up on a small lake in Michigan. Often during the summer while enjoying boating, swimming and water skiing, an afternoon storm would blow across the lake. We learned to spot the warning signs.  White caps whipped across growing waves. The oak leaves on shore would flip bottom side up in the wind. The water turned a deep blue-black. We learned that we had about ten minutes to dock the boat and to get to safety on the shore.

Today’s gospel, Matthew 14: 22-33, shows us a summer storm. The disciples do not make it to safety, so Jesus walks on the water. In the panic of the disciples, Jesus offers them words of hope once again, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

We hear this invitation of Jesus differently this summer. The storms of pandemic, financial misfortune, academic uncertainty, civil unrest from generations of racism, have toppled our control and overthrown our lives like nothing else in this generation. Our young people will hold this summer in their memories for the rest of their lives. They will continue to live out their fears for many years to come.

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid,” is the promise of Jesus no matter the storm and the its consequences. This is our faith as Christians. We possess a moral obligation to reach out to our young people, our family members and strangers alike to help each other in the storm. I worry about our next generation, our youth, our children who have a growing sense that this storm is too overwhelming.

Many of our teens and young adults are living in fear. We have to be on the lookout for those who want to give up. We must be attentive to those who slip into despair. Please do not hesitate to get professional help for anyone who is struggling to cope in the storms of this summer. Please be attentive to our teens, most especially.

Our history of faith reveals to us that we have an opportunity to enter the storm and be changed by it for the good. However, this takes time and perspective and real honesty. We have an opportunity as families to explore how this summer storm can change our lives and perspectives about the value of life, the beauty of being alive, and the courage it takes to be human and in relationship with others. Getting to this new shore, this new perspective, takes much work on our part, both at home and within the Church.

Perhaps this is the summer even though we are not together when we really learn to lean on the mystery of community and the Church. Perhaps this is the time when we can accompany those who may want to give up and share with them the value of what faith is all about. Hope buoys fear. Hope is a lifeline that we all need in these days of uncertainty. Love is not a wasted value in stormy times. Faith helps us get to the other side, the shoreline where rest restores us. These are not pious words, but the mystery that endures in Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.

As we listen to this gospel story today, we take note of the word, “courage”. Jesus speaks to the disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Courage is not just a grand or heroic notion. “Courage” comes from the Latin word, “cor” which means, “heart”.  In French, Sacred Heart is “Sacra Coeur”. In the center of our fear then, we are to invite Jesus into our hearts because his heart will calm us. The Heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart will show us how to navigate our storms. His Heart will reveal to us how to pray and how to live and how to serve. The Sacred Heart will lead us to the other side of the virus, if we have the courage and faith to offer him our fear.

No matter the storms we face in our lifetime, we turn in faith the one who walks on water to save us. The Sacred Heart of Jesus instills courage within us to move to safety, to travel back to shore with delight and hope. The Sacred Heart also shows us how to walk with people in the storms. Courage means that we give our hearts to people. Courage invites us to share our hearts with the lost, the forgotten, the orphan and the widow and the one who fears the virus. Courage is heart to heart hope in Jesus.

Take courage. Take heart. Storms pass. Love prevails.

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

Prayers of the Faithful

August 9, 2020  Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us pray for Church authorities and leaders across the world, that they may help transform apathy into compassion, hopelessness into contentment, and hatred into peace.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all who face the storms of fear in these days of pandemic, that families may lift up loved ones with faith and courage.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for those who are lost among the waves of despair and discouragement, that they may rest their hearts in the consolation of Christ Jesus.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for people who are greatly affected by these times of uncertainty, unemployment, and disillusionment about racial divides, that God may lift them to the safe shore of comfort and love.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our families and friends who are ill, that comfort and reassurance from the Heart of Jesus may guide their unsteady futures.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our loved ones who have died, that they may now rest upon the eternal shore of heaven. In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: MT 14:13-21, Homily

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Gospel MT 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.

 

Homily for August 2, 2020

My dear followers of Jesus,

Is there enough for me? Will others also be fed? These questions haunt the disciples amid the starving crowd.

These questions become our questions in our hunger, in our appetite for spiritual food. Does Jesus really care about my loneliness during these COVID-19 months? Does Jesus care that my son has lost his job or that I have not touched my new granddaughter or that my nephew thinks about suicide because of his isolation?  Does Jesus care about my need to be safe with all my health problems or that I have not been physically touched in months?

Well, Jesus remedies the hunger of his people by collecting five fish and two loaves of bread. He suckles the many thousands. He shows the disciples how to bless bread, break it, and share it, in order for him to satiate people’s hunger. There were even unexpected leftovers, more than enough to benefit each person’s hunger.

This is a foreshadowing of our actions at the Eucharist here today. There is enough even for your hunger and mine.  There is plentiful redemption for your unbelief and loneliness. There is food for change in our frustrations along racial divides and violence on our streets.

The Roman’s text asks, “What will separate us from the love of Christ?”  Today, not even our global pandemic or our uncertainties about life, will separate us from our beloved. Jesus finds our sorrows, our disappointments, and he feeds us with miracles. He pushes away our fear to find us. He quenches our souls with miraculous love.

Jesus feeds us here. Mercy is more than a morsel. There is enough for each of us to be satisfied.  He also invites us to break open our lives, as he does the bread. We can feed others with love because love is what we receive here. We really can love beyond our fear. There is always enough for every person’s hunger under heaven.

The hand of the Lord feeds us, he answers all our needs.

God give you peace.

 

 

 

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Column, Cover Art, Prayers of the Faithful

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Bulletin Column

Dear Believers in the Christ,

In today’s gospel, Matthew 14: 13-21, people walked from their villages to be with Jesus. These people brought their sick to be healed. Word traveled fast even though people were on foot. Hope lit up their imaginations even though it took much work and effort to walk to the place where Jesus was gathering them. Curiosity roused people to set out to discover this miracle worker, Jesus. The Holy Spirit ignited their desire to set out and search for all that could free them.

As people gathered together, Jesus was once again moved with pity. This notion of pity is revealed in several passages in the gospels. Pity is the beginning of compassion. Jesus’ heart was moved by the suffering and complications of people’s lives. His heart overflows with love and tenderness. Pity can be a negative word in our day, when we stand on the sidelines of suffering and do not act to help folks who most need us. The word “pity” can be condescending, when we only pity people at arm’s length.

Jesus becomes the model of offering compassion and tenderness when he engages people who need help. He allows others’ sickness, disease and uncertain circumstances to change him. He not only enters people’s pain, but he also learns from them. This model of love continues for us who ache to help others as we learn that life for many people is not easy or fair. This movement of pity becomes the beginning of justice, the beginning of hope for those who are marginalized and discouraged by life. Jesus lifts up the poor. He welcomes the lost. Jesus embraces the leper and the sick, the outcast and the sinner.

This notion of pity in this gospel reveals itself in a new way. So, the disciples are now concerned about people because they were in a deserted place. People were hungry. People needed the basics of life and the disciples were becoming aware that Jesus was not providing for them. Something needed to happen.

Jesus begins to turn the concerns of the disciples back in their direction. Jesus says to the disciples that they should offer people food. Jesus here is trying to teach them that their pity toward people’s hunger must be turned into action. Their pity must become active compassion. Jesus reveals to the disciples that feeding his followers is going to become an on-going problem. Jesus invites his followers to consider their own miracles, their deepening faith, and loving concern for those who need food.

With five fish and two loaves of bread, new miracles happen. Imagine how the disciples felt at such a meager supply of food for all of those people. They must have felt helpless and embarrassed that Jesus would have even suggested such a way to feed the people. We can all feel this moment. We all understand that moment when we feel we do not have enough, when life itself is not enough, when our own faith and actions seem meager and insufficient.

Then the miracles really let loose. Not only were people fed, but they were satisfied. This statement overwhelms me. In many ways, I can imagine how Jesus fed the crowd, but the fact that they were satisfied is entirely a new miracle. Thousands of people received food to survive their trip home. Baskets full of leftovers must have fed the disciples as they packed up for their next journey. I also imagine that the faith of the disciples was taken to a new level as they witnessed this incredible moment on a hillside in the heat of the day.

The disciples witnessed how pity moved Jesus into action. Jesus wanted his disciple to also learn such a beautiful way to engage their faith. Pity, from the heart of Christ Jesus, is compassion in action. I wonder whom we are called to feed? How shall we engage our faith in compassionate action? How does people’s hunger for justice, love, and concern, change us who believe in such miracles? I am sure when we engage people’s hunger because we believe in Jesus, we too, shall be satisfied.

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor

 

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 2, 2020

For those who are malnourished in faith, that the Eucharist may provide faith in Christ Jesus for the discouraged and joyless.

We pray to the Lord.

For world leaders, that integrity and wisdom may guide those who lead every nation into the future.

We pray to the Lord.

For those who live in sacristy, that the hungry, the uneducated, the hopeless, may experience the abundance of God’s grace and protection.

We pray to the Lord.

For the newly professed members of the Congregation of Holy Cross who spoke their vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience on Saturday, for their future vocations and safety of their return to Notre Dame.

We pray to the Lord.

For all ill members of our parish communities and families, that God may bring healing and satisfaction.

We pray to the Lord.

For our beloved dead and for all who grieve. In this Mass we remember…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: MT 13:44-52, Homily

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Gospel MT 13:44-52 OR 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Cover art, Column, and Prayers of the Faithful

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Bulletin Column

Dear Believers in The Treasure,

Matthew 13: 44-52, uncovers for us a rich, profound, and unimaginable treasure, The Kingdom of God. Today’s text invites us into another image of the Kingdom of God, a follow up from last Sunday. I love this image of the Kingdom. The treasure is so often lost on us. Sometimes we ignore the real meaning of our lives and seek purpose and love elsewhere. Sometimes we do not even realize that the spiritual journey has at its core…love.

This may seem like a weird question, but what is the spiritual journey for? Why do we pray? We sometimes get caught up thinking the spiritual journey is for our own personal redemption in Christ. It can become a life insurance policy that will get us to the pearly gates. It becomes a ticket we purchase on earth to reserve a seat at the party of heaven. So often we think the journey is to stay on a certain path that is outlined for us and not to veer off the road, lest we don’t get our heavenly reward.

However, the spiritual journey here on earth is to uncover, to reveal, to enter into the mystery, of love. This love forms our lives, motivates our actions and helps heal the world. The Kingdom is revealed to us in our baptism. The well of our baptismal lives is deep, never emptying, and profound. The riches we seek are in front of us. The treasure in the field is buried before our very eyes. The love that God has for us is unveiled in the mystical journey of prayer, silence, the sacraments of the Church, and in a heart that is curious.

Curiosity is a gift from God. The older I get, the more I realize that the spiritual journey stems from a curious heart that knows it does not possess all the answers. So often we are given answers to questions we don’t even ask. We are given a set of rules and regulations that choke the human heart.

When I was a young religious, I remember seeking out the stories of our men who were missionaries or who served in various ministries in the United States. Holy Cross priests and brothers from around the world would come to the seminary for more education or renewal. I remember, along with my classmates, sipping breakfast coffee with these holy men and listening attentively. We listened to stories that seemed unimaginable about people in utter poverty or those in political turmoil from overthrown governments. They spoke not only foreign languages, but they spoke the stories from their people. These stories became treasures for me. Their stories opened up my life to become curious about God and the role of the Church. Their stories served as fuel for my commitment of prayer and service within the Church.

The more I look back, the more I realize that curiosity is a spiritual shovel. The more we pursue love and life; the more God is revealed to us. Curiosity ultimately reveals God’s message here on earth. We are loved. We are given purpose, meaning and integrity now under heaven. The journey to find God is deep, the field is large, the purpose is to live life for others. Curiosity also means we make mistakes, sometimes we quit digging, sometimes we lose our way, and sometimes we get resentful and often we get hurt. However, prayer with love and curiosity attached, becomes our life work, and our life mission.  This is the goal for what it means to be human. Prayer becomes the foundation for peace among people, reconciliation among enemies, and hope for the lost and forgotten in our society. The treasure is given to us to give others, the treasure is a way of life and a way to share the very purpose of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.

I so desire to keep going. I so want the pearl of great price and the treasure in the field of my heart. I know it is just behind my selfishness and obstinance. I want to unearth my pride and to hold the miracle of God’s love for me and the world in my tired heart. I would sell everything for that.

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

 God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

Prayers of the Faithful

For our bishops and all who lead us in faith, that their lives of prayer may bring us wisdom, truth, and a new understanding of gospel peace.

We pray to the Lord.

For our struggling families, for the unemployed, for those who face the consequences of addiction, that we may offer the hope of the gospel.

We pray to the Lord.

For those who are discouraged by life’s stress and misfortune, that God may offer consolation and offer us the pearl of justice.

We pray to the Lord.

For an end of war, violence and hatred, that God may bring us peace in every land and nation.

We pray to the Lord.

For our children who question their futures, for our grandparents who live in fear, for all those we love, that God may bring us together in harmony.

We pray to the Lord.

For our beloved dead. In this Mass we pray for…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: MT 13: 24-43, Homily

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Gospel MT 13:24-43 OR 13:24-30

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

He proposed another parable to them.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

 

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Cover Art, Column, and Prayers of the Faithful, Link to bulletin

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July 19, 2020

Dear Believers in the Kingdom,

In today’s gospel, Matthew 13:24-43, we are given a few simple images of the Kingdom of God to ponder and to imitate. A little bit of yeast in the dough changes everything. A small mustard seed grows into one of the largest of plants. These images of planting good seed and harvesting weeds as well, are images of immense importance, and reveal even greater meaning for us.

We seldom take time to ponder that the Kingdom of God is within our human hearts. We are always seeking something beyond ourselves. We want results now. We want to be in control of the world around us. We want things to change but with little responsibility on our part to get our hands dirty. We want happiness now. When things don’t work out, we get trapped in violence, sex addiction, alcohol, hoarding, overspending, and keeping up with the neighbors. We are constantly seeking a better false life, a life that others tell us we should have.

We have been trained that happiness, contentment, and purpose, are somehow outside of our own lives. We have also been taught that if we have enough money, better education and purchase more stuff, we will end up incredibly content and happy as a lark. We are also taught when we are young that we are entitled to everything in life. Then when life does not turn out the way we had planned, we simply fall apart.

The Kingdom is within us. The spiritual journey is inside of our lives and hearts. The journey is an examination of how we receive life and how we live it on a daily basis. The Kingdom of heaven is tucked away in our hearts and it reveals itself in how we treat people, what we think of ourselves, and how we love. We can see the Kingdom reflected in the eyes of those we love and in the miraculous presence of people and nature. The Kingdom is not far away or for only the good and the pious. The Kingdom is revealed in how we welcome the stranger, how we speak about others, and how we simply love on this side of the grave.

I grew up with so much provided for me.  My folks worked hard sustaining their own business. I never fit into that role. My life went in a very different direction, yet, I appreciate what was given me more every day. As I entered into ministry, my life completely changed. It was no longer about my education or achievement or status. My heart began to accept that I really don’t have answers to other people’s questions. Life is hard. Finding love and purpose is difficult. The more I listen to the stranger and befriend the seeker, the more I realize I am not the one who carries faith and hope. My real education began when I entered into people’s heartache and suffering. In the deepest places of humanity, God reveals tenderness, calm and the love of the Father. Life is revealed in the human heart. The Kingdom is beyond any possession I own or any sense of entitlement to which I cling.

Pope Francis said, “Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life.” I love this line. It shows me that I have a long way to go to seek the Kingdom of God and to live it in my life. Jesus’ challenge for rich conversion, for deep love, for unearthed hope, comes from the Kingdom that is planted deeply within us.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

Prayers of the Faithful

For our Universal Church, that we may grow in prayer and empathy in uncertain times.

We pray to the Lord.

For courage to act with justice, that we may protect the lives of all people under heaven.

We pray to the Lord.

For integrity for all who preach the gospel, that church leaders may know the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to hear the cries of the poor.

We pray to the Lord

For our parishioners and loved ones who live in fear, for those who have lost their employment, and for those wearied by stress, that hope may prevail.

We pray to the Lord.

For the renewal of family life in these summer days, for safety in travel, and enjoyment in the presence of those we love.

We pray to the Lord.

For our beloved dead and for all who grieve. In this Mass we pray for…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: MT 13:1-23, Homily

July 12, 2020 bulletin cover

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

 

Gospel MT 13:1-23

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The disciples approached him and said,
“Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted,
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

“Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”