First reading Jeremiah 2:1-3,7-8,12-13

I brought you to a fertile country and you defiled it

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying, ‘Go and shout this in the hearing of Jerusalem:
‘“The Lord says this:
I remember the affection of your youth,
the love of your bridal days:
you followed me through the wilderness,
through a land unsown.
Israel was sacred to the Lord,
the first-fruits of his harvest;
anyone who ate of this had to pay for it,
misfortune came to them –
it is the Lord who speaks.”
‘I brought you to a fertile country
to enjoy its produce and good things;
but no sooner had you entered than you defiled my land,
and made my heritage detestable.
The priests have never asked, “Where is the Lord?”
Those who administer the Law have no knowledge of me.
The shepherds have rebelled against me;
the prophets have prophesied in the name of Baal,
following things with no power in them.
‘You heavens, stand aghast at this,
stand stupefied, stand utterly appalled
– it is the Lord who speaks.
Since my people have committed a double crime:
they have abandoned me,
the fountain of living water,
only to dig cisterns for themselves,
leaky cisterns
that hold no water.’

Responsorial Psalm 35(36):6-11

In you, Lord, is the source of life.
Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven;
  your truth to the skies.
Your justice is like God’s mountain,
  your judgements like the deep.
O Lord, how precious is your love.
  My God, the sons of men
  find refuge in the shelter of your wings.
They feast on the riches of your house;
  they drink from the stream of your delight.
In you is the source of life
  and in your light we see light.
Keep on loving those who know you,
  doing justice for upright hearts.

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.’

To see and hear God today

“You will listen and listen again, but not understand, see and see again, but not perceive.” Jesus knew that people, like the religious leaders, heard His teaching and saw the good deeds He did, but they could not understand and perceive God behind His words and actions. As a result, these people lacked the faith to experience God present in their midst.
Do we really look and listen with attention? “.. blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!” Today, Jesus invites us to look and listen with faith so as to be aware that God is always with us in the daily events of life. Let us ask Jesus to open our hearts to listen and understand how loving our God is as well as to see and perceive how He is at work in and through us. God is not just present in us, but He can be seen and heard through people in our lives. Thus, we also pray for eyes to see and ears to hear God in those around us.
Question for reflection:
What makes my ear dull from hearing Jesus and my eyes shut from seeing Him?
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.