"Have you understood all this?" —Matthew 13:51
Jesus asked His apostles if they had understood "all this." They answered "Yes," possibly assuming that Jesus was referring to the last parable or series of parables He had taught (Mt 13:51). Jesus, however, was probably referring to much more, for He next spoke of those learned in His kingdom as having a "storeroom" of knowledge (Mt 13:52).
Actually, the apostles did not understand "all this" (see Jn 16:29). "On the contrary, their minds were completely closed to the meaning" of many events in Jesus' life (Mk 6:52). So exasperated was Jesus with His followers that He questioned them: "Are your minds completely blinded? Have you eyes but no sight? Ears but no hearing?...Do you still not understand?" (Mk 8:17-18, 21) During the Last Supper, the apostles felt they did understand what Jesus was saying (Jn 16:29-30). However, Jesus immediately questioned this (Jn 16:31). A few hours later, the apostles proved that they really did not understand Jesus when they abandoned Him upon His arrest (Mk 14:50).
Do you understand Jesus? Will you at least admit your lack of understanding? This is the necessary first step toward understanding. On Judgment Day, will the Lord say to you: "This is not an understanding people; therefore their Maker shall not spare them, nor shall He Who formed them have mercy on them" (Is 27:11)? Or will He say: "Blest are your eyes because they see and blest are your ears because they hear" (Mt 13:16)? "Have you understood all this?" (Mt 13:51)
Prayer: Father, may I understand what You mean by "understanding."
Promise: "Rise up, be off to the potter's house; there I will give you My message." —Jer 18:2
Praise: St. Ignatius, once a tough soldier trained in physical strength and warfare, had a deep conversion and became a priest. He is the patron of spiritual exercises and retreats.
Reference: (For more, order our leaflet, Clarity, Certainty, and Commitment.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 2, 2014
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