In today’s Gospel Our Lord teaches us how the Word of God can grow in us. First, we have to open the door to it: we have to listen to what he is saying. That involves a desire in our heart and mind to welcome it in, and to use it to shape our lives, even when our inclinations say differently. A parable is a sort of test to see whether we’re really interested.
Second, we won’t just understand it on our own: even his best disciples asked for an explanation; today he mentions that they have already started receiving teachings about the Kingdom of God without the need to use parables as tests of whether they really care. The Church has grown in understanding of the Word of God throughout her history, helped by the Holy Spirit, and Our Lord has entrusted this mission to the Apostles and to their successors, the bishops, in order to help us understand. We need Church teaching to help us understand.
Finally, it requires perseverance. Our Lord describes the dispositions necessary to receive the Word of God: to “embrace it with a generous and good heart.” A generous and good heart requires a lot of work, and the Word of God is meant to help achieve that. That involves lifestyle changes, attitude adjustments, swallowing our pride, and turning the other cheek, not just once, but repeatedly. Let’s ask Our Lord today to help us persevere in welcoming his Word into our hearts with the proper dispositions of life and of heart.