Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism


Matthew 13:9 "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."


The Parables of Lord Christ




 
A parable is a story in which a real and earthly thing is used to parallel or illustrate a spiritual or heavenly thing. Such a story acts as a "riddle" that both veils and reveals all at once -- veiling the spiritual behind words that reveal the earthly and which can be penetrated to reach the spiritual by those "who have ears to hear."

Jesus tells us that He spoke in parables precisely to veil and reveal, to speak, in a sense, "secretly" while not in secret at all. As recorded in Matthew 13:10-17:

And his disciples came and said to Him: Why speakest Thou to them in parables?

Who answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: but to them it is not given. For he that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that also which he hath.

Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, who saith: By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive. For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them.

There is not "secret doctrine"; Jesus Himself said, as recorded in John 18:20, "In secret I have spoken nothing." There are His words spoken in open for all to hear -- but which "go over the heads" of those who will not to hear them and whom God has allowed to be hardened in their choices. To the person wearing dark sunglasses, a rose's red looks black -- but the rose is there in its colorful brilliance for all to see if they'd simply remove the obstacles between their eyes and the flower. St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (d. 368) spoke of this when he wrote, "we do not read that our Lord was wont to preach at night, and expound His doctrine in the dark: but He says this because His speech is darkness to the carnal-minded, and His words are night to the unbeliever."

All of the parables are found -- often repeated -- in the synoptic Gospels, that is, the Gospels of SS Matthew, Mark, and Luke; none are found in St. John's Gospel. They've been numbered differently at various times, depending on whether proverbial expressions and simple metaphors are counted as separate parables and whether certain parables are grouped together, such as "The Hidden Treasure" and "The Pearl of Great Price." Here I present them, grouped as thirty-three stories, with commentary by St. John Chrysostom for most of those from St. Matthew's Gospel, and other commentary by other Saints and Doctors, from the Catholic Encyclopedia, etc. when available. Click on the titles to read...

 

 

Lamp Under a Basket

    

Found:

Matthew 5:13-16
Mark 4:21-22
Luke 8:16-17, 11:33-36

Theme:

Being a witness to the power of Christ
 

The Wise Man Who Builds on Rock and the Fool Who Builds on Sand

 

Found:

Matthew 7:15-29
Luke 6:47-49
Theme: The importance of sound doctrine and doing good works
 

New Cloth on Old Garments & New Wine in Old Wineskins

Found:

Matthew 9:14-17
Mark 2:18-22
Luke 5:33-39

Theme:

On preparation, timing, and refraining from judgment
 

The Sower

Found:

Matthew 13:1-23
Mark 4:1-29
Luke 8:4-15

Theme:

On orienting the will to receive Christ, and doing so in a manner in which grace isn't lost during times of temptation and testing
 

The Cockle (or "Tares") Among the Wheat

Found:

Matthew 13:24-30

Theme:

On the importance of vigilance against heresies, and of some tolerance of heretics brought about by the Enemy
 

The Mustard Seed & The Leaven

Found:

Matthew 13:31-35
Mark 4:30-34
Luke 13:18-21

Theme:

On how so few can change the world by spreading the Gospel and putting on Christ
 

The Hidden Treasure & The Pearl of Great Price

Found:

Matthew 13:44-46
Theme: On the preciousness of belonging to God's Kingdom
 

The Draw Net

Found:

Matthew 13:47-50

Theme:

On the separation of the good from the evil
 

The Lost Sheep & The Lost Coin

Found:

Matthew 18:1-14
Luke 15:1-10

Theme:

On the value to God of each and every soul, even those of the smallest ones and of the greatest sinners
 

The Unmerciful Servant

Found:

Matthew 18:21-35

Theme:

On being as merciful to and forgiving of others as God is to and of us
 

The Labourers in the Vineyard

Found:

Matthew 20:1-16

Theme:

On the sovereignty of God, doing what is right because it is right, spiritual jealousy, and how it is never too late to repent
 

The Two Sons

Found:

Matthew 21:28-32

Theme:

On doing the will of God instead of being a hypocrite
 

The Wicked Husbandmen

Found:

Matthew 21:33-46
Mark 12:1-12
Luke 20:9-20

Theme:

On the Old Covenant being fulfilled and the New Covenant coming into being
 

The Marriage of the King's Son

Found: Matthew 22:1-14

Theme:

On responding to God and showing fruits
 

The Fig Tree

Found:

Matthew 24:32-42
Mark 13:28-33
Luke 21:29-36

Theme:

On being prepared (compare with the parables of the Ten Virgins, The Faithful and Wicked Stewards, and The Man Going on a Long Journey)
 

The Man Going on a Long Journey

Found:

Matthew 24:42-51
Mark 13:33-37

Theme:

On being prepared (compare with the parables of The Fig Tree, The Ten Virgins, and The Faithful and Wicked Stewards)
 

The Faithful and Wicked Stewards

Found:

Matthew 24:45-51
Luke 12:35-48

Theme:

On being prepared (compare with the parables of The Fig Tree, The Ten Virgins, and The Man Going on a Long Journey)
 

The Ten Virgins

Found:

Matthew 25:1-13

Theme:

On being prepared (compare with the parables of the Fig Tree,  The Man Going on a Long Journey, and The Faithful and Wicked Stewards)
 

The Talents

Found:

Matthew 25:14-30

Theme:

On being fruitful
 

The Two Debtors

Found:

Luke 7:41-43

Theme:

On God's awesome mercy as contrasted with the judgmentalism of man (compare with the Parable of The Prodigal Son)
 

The Good Samaritan

Found:

Luke 10:23-37

Theme:

On charity as opposed to legalism
 

The Friend at Midnight

Found:

Luke 11:1-10

Theme:

On persistence in prayer (compare with The Parable of the Unjust Judge)
 

The Rich Fool

Found:

Luke 12:16-34

Theme:

On laying up treasures in Heaven rather than on earth (compare with the parable of the Dives and Lazarus)
 

The Barren Fig Tree

Found:

Luke 13:6-9

Theme:

On the faithless of the Old Covenant, and the importance of bearing spiritual fruit
 

The Great Supper

Found:

Luke 14:7-24

Theme:

On the universality of the Church, the great commission to preach the Gospel to all, and the necessity of responding to God when called
 

The Tower and the War-making King

Found:

Luke 14:25-35

Theme:

On prioritizing our lives such that God is first
 

The Prodigal Son

Found:

Luke 15:11-32

Theme:

On God's mercy (compare with the parable of The Two Debtors)
 

The Unjust Steward

Found:

Luke 16:1-10

Theme:

On being crafty and making use of opportunities in an innocent manner
 

The Dives (Rich Man) and Lazarus

Found:

Luke 16:19-34

Theme:

On laying up treasures in Heaven rather than on earth (compare with The Parable of the Rich Fool)
 

The Unprofitable Servants

Found:

Luke 17:7-10

Theme:

On how we are saved by grace and not of works (compare with the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican)
 

The Unjust Judge (or "The Persistent Widow)

Found:

Luke 18:1-8

Theme:

On longsuffering and persistent prayer
 

The Pharisee and the Publican

Found:

Luke 18:9-14

Theme:

On humility and grace (compare with the parable of The Unprofitable Servants)
 

The Pounds (or "The Minae")

Found:

Luke 19:11-27

Theme:

On using what God gives you, to His glory

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