I am starting my reflection with the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13. In this chapter Jesus tells the parable of the sower. He begins by saying, "behold."
Some English translation say listen but it is behold in my Greek. Then he tells the parable and at the end he says, “those who have ears to hear listen.”
If we look at the Gospel of Mark in the fourth chapter we will find the same parable. This time the word listen appears at the beginning and behold follows in the Greek. Most interesting, the ending line is the same in both accounts where we have those who have ears to hear, listen. In the Greek the words hear and listen are more pronounced. Because you have akouw side-by-side with different endings which gives a huge emphasis to how we are to Pay attention. More than pay attention, since Greek verbs are action oriented we are being called "to do" with listening. The verb form signifying action is in the present imperative tense meaning the action is continuous, continuous in the present. That is what we are "to do."
how are we to apply this parable. we are to hear the parable over and over again continuously. The parable as a metaphor can be moved to new places continuously in the present (meta: new and phor: place) with our daily changing context. The parable becomes a way of contemplating who we are in the present. Examining ourselves in terms of how we respond to the good seed. A way to mark what in being produced from the good soil. I am a gardener and I know I can improve my soil.
The disciples ask for Jesus to explain the parable. There is more. The explanation reinforces the mobility of the parable as metaphor.
I do confess that not all Greek copies of the Matthew 13 have the same Greek words side by side. I am going with the edition of side by side for the emphasis created.
To be continued.