Commentary: Wayback Machine. Today we remember a few of the innumerable Christians martyred across the first two two millennia of the Church by paganism, Islam, & Protestantism.
'Tis also the festival of Saints Aurelius & Natalia, Felix & Liliosa, & George, Deacon; Martyrs (died 852), martyred in the reign of the emir Abd ar-Rahman II, five of the forty-eight Martyrs of Córdoba: Martyr-link Alpha & Martyr-link November, Martyr-link Foxtrot & Martyr-link Lima, Martyr-link Golf, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XLVIII.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed Robert Sutton, Priest & Martyr (circa 1544-1587), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.
Scripture of the Day
The Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses one, two, nine, ten, eleven, & sixteen thru twenty(b);
The Book of Daniel, chapter three, verses fifty-two thru fifty-six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses ten thru seventeen.
Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel the disciples ask Jesus why he speaks to the crowds in parables.
Jesus is explaining the Kingdom of God in these provocative and puzzling stories and images that seemed to be his preferred way of preaching. And he replies to his disciples, "This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.'" In other words, because the crowds refused to believe in him and what he has to say.
Many parables are strange and initially off-putting and puzzling. Of course, that is the point of parables: to bother us, throw us off base, confuse us a bit. How characteristic this was of Jesus' preaching! He rarely lays things out in doctrinal form: he prefers to tell these puzzling, funny stories. Why? Because in many cases stories reveal truth that arguments can't quite capture.