First reading Exodus 19:1-2,9-11,16-20

Moses speaks with God on Sinai

Three months after they came out of the land of Egypt, on that day the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sinai. From Rephidim they set out again; and when they reached the wilderness of Sinai, there in the wilderness they pitched their camp; there facing the mountain Israel pitched camp.
  The Lord said to Moses, ‘I am coming to you in a dense cloud so that the people may hear when I speak to you and may trust you always.’ And Moses took the people’s reply back to the Lord.
  The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will descend on the mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people.’
  Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder. The Lord came down on the mountain of Sinai, on the mountain top, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain; and Moses went up.
 

Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:52-56

To you glory and praise for evermore.
 
You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
Blest your glorious holy name.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the temple of your glory.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest who gaze into the depths.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the firmament of heaven.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
 

Gospel Matthew 13:10-17

Prophets and holy men longed to hear what you hear

The disciples went up to Jesus and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:
You will listen and listen again, but not understand,
see and see again, but not perceive.
For the heart of this nation has grown coarse,
their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes,
for fear they should see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and be converted
and be healed by me.
‘But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’
 
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To listen with the heart

“…This people’s heart has grown coarse, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me. But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!…”. Jesus points out the reality that there are two groups of people. Some are open to listening, understanding what He says and living His word out daily. Others hear His words but are unwilling to allow what they hear to make a difference in their lives. Which group do we belong to?
 
Jesus comes every day to sow the seeds of His word that reveal the mystery of the kingdom of God. The mystery is nothing more than knowing the God that Jesus comes to show us and experiencing ourselves being loved by Him. Let us not get tired of listening with our ears and understanding with our hearts so that we can truly be blessed to have Him in our lives.
 
Reflective question:
Has my heart grown tired and dull over time of Jesus and what He wants to tell me?
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.