Exodus xvi,1-5,9-15;Matthew xiii,1-9
A story is told of a missionary who had served in a village for more than a decades without people converting. He one morning he rang the bell for the funeral and many people turned up to the church.
As usual, many people used to attend funerals and much more this one which they were curious to know who has died this time since they had not heard. At the church, they actually found all the funeral settings and the casket near the sanctuary. The missionary read book of prophet Amos 6.8 then the Gospel that we have just heard today.
Before the sermon he asked the people to pay homage to the deceased. All lined up even those who fear dead came to have a grims at the deceased.
All the viewing and all were silently seated, the missionary asked them one by one what they saw. Only two courageous men were genuine but the rest wouldn’t dare.
The casket had a mirror and so each saw his or her own reflection. The ?missionary only said, “I’ve been here for many years preaching to you to convert but I’ve come to realize you are all dead. Now I am burying you and go to another place where there are living.”
Let us not go to details of the metanoia that took place that day but they started living.
Jesus has been preaching to people but few were getting concerted. He is now telling how his words are not taken in since they are eaten by world views (birds), others are suffocated by their hardened hearts (rocks) and others are full of evils piercing the word with heresies and destroying the truth. The groups above can be termed as dead and need an urgent funeral.
But there are few indeed who conceive the word and give birth accordingly.
The funeral is as conducted in the desert. God used the desert to purify the people. The remnants were only those who listened to the word and converted. The rest all died in the 40 years of the sieving period.
We too need to convert. We are still in the pilgrimage and everyday the word of God is being planted in our hearts. How are we preparing our hearts? Are we removing the rocks and thorns? Are we putting enough manure? God us merciful and giving us time but the day of funeral is approaching and woe to us if it catches up with our unpreparedness.
St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us.