When little kids don’t want to hear something, they’ll stick their fingers in their ears and mutter “Blah, blah, blah” to drown out whatever is being said to them. We adults are more sophisticated in how we tune things out. But we do it, nevertheless.
We need to appreciate this in order to understand Jesus’ words in today’s gospel. On the surface, they sound like Jesus spoke in parables to confuse people on purpose, and that only an elite few would comprehend his teaching. And that’s partly right: Not everyone does comprehend Jesus’ teaching. But not because Jesus wants to confuse them. It’s because people just don’t want to hear.
If you recall, Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah. And throughout history, the message of God’s prophets has been rejected time and time again. They spoke challenging words, calling on people to change their ways and turn their lives around. And folks generally don’t like to hear that sort of thing. So they tuned out.
People tune out Jesus’ message too, and we can be just as guilty as anyone else. Jesus calls us to believe in a God we cannot see, carry a cross and suffer with him, love our enemies, forgive those who hurt us, and be humble, selfless, servants. We hear these things and sometimes we want to stick our fingers in our ears and go “blah, blah, blah.”
But ignorance isn’t bliss, when it comes to the Word of God. As hard as they may be to hear, they’re the words of truth and life. “Blessed are your ears, because they hear,” said the Lord. Jesus invites us today to take our fingers from our ears, so we can “understand with our hearts,” “be converted” and be healed.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/072111.shtml