“The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.” (Lk 8:8)

I enjoy reading articles or downloading videos offered by James Dobson Jr. He’s an evangelical Christian psychologist who’s also the founder of Focus on the Family. He loves telling stories and while he was never ordained a minister, his sermons and letters are always seasoned with great narratives.  His approach is something I try to emulate every now and then as I prepare my homilies.  Once upon a time many years ago, Dobson expressed his dismay after hearing a sermon that lacked any type of anecdote.  He found himself silently saying to the preacher, “Aren’t you going to tell us a story?” He knows that people remember tales long after they’ve forgotten the theology or the philosophy.

This weekend’s Gospel has Jesus defending His use of stories. His disciples ask, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus replies (and I’m paraphrasing), “Because they work.” Sometimes, we might believe that only the silent contemplation of the mystics or the exhaustive commentary of biblical scholars can carry us to the heart of God’s message.  In my humble opinion, I think Jesus is very clear that a good story—well told—works wonders.

In God’s Time,



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