2 Sam 7:4-17 / Mark 4:1-21
Jesus started His ministry by teaching in the synagogues.
In today's gospel, we see a switch in style. He goes into the open: at the seashore, and the fishing boat becomes the pulpit.
But a more profound switch was from lecture-style teaching to simple parables about everyday life, although the purpose was still the same, i.e. to teach the people about eternal life.
The switch was only natural, because for the common people, stories attract their attention, and they are easy to remember.
But the purpose of Jesus in using stories or parables goes deeper than just getting their attention.
A parable like the sower and the seed tests the hearts of the people, as well as our hearts.
When our hearts are open, we will be able to sense the truth of the teachings of Jesus.
Just as in the 1st reading, the prophet Nathan sensed it was the word of the Lord that was being announced to him and he opened his heart to receive it.
Yet, nonetheless, God will also respect our freedom.
The parables of Jesus contain enough light for us who want to know the truth.
We have the freedom to step into the light of truth, or to remain in the shadow of darkness.