Making Sense of the Parables Part 3

So, what is my motivation to continue Christ’s mission? I consider it is best encapsulated in the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard. Matthew 25:1-16 A Landowner went out early to hire labourers to work in his vineyard for an agreed daily wage. The Landowner continued to go out and hire workers at nine, noon, three and five. Now when it came to pay the worker’s wages, they all received the same daily wage no matter the hours they toiled. However, the workers who commenced earlier grumbled to the Landowner. The Landowner replied, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious  

Matthew 25:13-16


How does this Parable translate to my own life? I reflect on Pope Francis’s words that the Vineyard is the Kingdom of God and God is the Landowner who wants everyone to work for his Kingdom where everyone receives the same reward salvation; eternal life. This is what sustains my life’s meaning and purpose and drives how I witness my personal faith, build my relationships and persist in my labours with my family, friends, Parish and the Holy Family Community. I know when I face challenges I can get caught up in deferring to selfishness, envious of other peoples lives who I perceive as being more successful and taking my eyes off the prize. Nevertheless, it is the promise of salvation and the justice and equality of the Kingdom of Heaven that gives me the necessary perspective of God being a constant presence in my life. This is what inspires and gives me hope when I wake up every day to be the Sower spreading seed, through using my talents and acting without judgement and with equality to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to everyone I encounter.


Making Sense of the Parables Part 2

I think the message of continuing Christ’s Mission is best reflected in the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30.

Jesus told this parable, A man going on a journey summoned his slaves to each one he gave talents, one five, one two and another one, according to their ability.

The slave with five talents increased his by five, the one with two made two more, while the slave with one dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time, the master settled accounts with the slaves.

The slave with five was praised for by being trustworthy by increasing his talents by five more and given more responsibility. The slave with two talents increased his by two and was praised for by being trustworthy and put in charge of more tasks. The slave with one talent was afraid of his master and buried his talent. “But, his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter.” Matthew 25:26. So, he was thrown outside and his talent was given to the slave who now had ten talents.  “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” Matthew 25:29.

 So, how do I in my role as APRIM using my talents to continue Christ’s mission at Holy Family? I believe it is by making God’s presence visible at Holy Family where our Catholic Identity key performance indicators are a catalyst in engaging our community in developing a relationship with God and their faith. Holy Family’s Catholic Identity self-assessment of Excelling in Catholic Identity is underpinned by the Living Learning Leading Framework of Thriving People, Capable Learners and Leaders for the world God desires. Hence, I am required to be spiritually aware and inspired by faith through my prayer life, an active role within a Catholic Eucharistic Community in my role as commentator and reader, writing the commentary and prayer of the faithful and my professional learning in Religious Education. This nourishes my personal witness and utilisation of my talents to assist in enhancing Holy Family’s Catholic School Identity.


My core targets in my role as APRIM are to invite all in the Community to develop a personal relationship with Jesus and to participate and engage with Jesus through our faith and service. To achieve this, I need to acknowledge all people are Made in the Image of God and Holy Family’s cultural diversity. (John 14.2, In my Father’s House there are many rooms.)

Inviting parents/caregivers and members of our community to Class, prayer, liturgies, masses, whole school events, assemblies, Mission Day, Catholic Identity and Harmony Day, shared lunches, excursions and Spring Fair. Encouraging teachers, students and parents to rigorously and critically reflect on change and continuity in praying, believing, living and celebrating Church as it engages with the world through the Leuven Model. Moreover, inviting and encouraging the active participation of staff, students and parents to use their gifts in prayers, music, dance, readings, processions, technology and service to the community.

Creating a warm sense of community outreach and welcome by greeting parents/givers and students at the start of the day, at the gate, in the yard and in the classroom.  Facilitating, opening up our hall and centre to different religious denominations to enable the different groups to worship and celebrate their faith and culture.

Learning to live faith-filled lives informed by the Scriptures where the Bible is the centre point of each class’ prayer table. The Scripture references highlighted in the Crossways enduring understandings focus on drawing out meanings from the many symbols throughout our school, comparing the meanings to their own lives, and sharing these meanings amongst those of other cultures and beliefs. Examples of work from the Crossways Unit is represented on the Catholic Identity wall in the classroom.

Visibly engaging with those who experience poverty and need, and those at the margins by developing Gospel Values that promote compassion, social justice, discernment, pastoral care and ecological sustainability. As a community, fundraising on Holy Family Mission Day for Catholic Mission, Fred’s Van and Catherine House.

 Witnessing to God’s love for all of the Creatures of the Earth by raising awareness of God’s creation and co-creators with God in sustaining a social and physical environment. By continuing to maintain and evolve our Ecological Sustainable Projects of the Fish Farm, Orange an Olive Groves, Peace and Indigenous Gardens and Avocado Projects. Furthermore, our commitment to recycling waste & nude food projects. Thus, I believe at Holy Family we are active and committed to implementing initiatives in highlighting our Catholic Identity and making God’s presence visible.

Making Sense of Parables Part 1

 Making Sense of Parables

To understand parables, I need to find a definition that best suits what a parable tries to convey to its audience.  I have borrowed from other definitions and come up with this one.

A short simple story that everyone can relate to and challenges us to change the way we view our way of life. They also create a discombobulating shift which helps us understand the meaning of Parables which are meant to discomfort us by turning our expectations upside down. Thus, the challenge of being a Christian and living according to the Gospel values. Therefore, in this reflection paper I will explore three parables, Sower, Talents and Vineyard and how it relates to my personal life, work and world. I particularly like this view on the Parables, “Each generation looks for new meanings, reads with new sensitivity, and projects onto the text new issues. Good literature continues to yield those new meanings, and the parables are no exception.”

A-J Levine, 2014, Short Stories by Jesus, Harper Collins, NY, (19)

For example, in the Parable of the Sower. Jesus tells us about a Sower who sowed seed (the Word of God) some which fell on the path and were eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground and sprang up quickly but the soil had no depth and when the sun rose, they were scorched and because they had no root they withered away.  More seeds fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew up and choked them. Whilst, further seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain a hundredfold, sixty and thirty. Matthew 13:1-9 So, my take is the seed that fell on the path that was eaten by the birds depict them as an image of people with selfish desires consuming all that is around them. The greatest example being when there is a suggestion of a Covid outbreak the mad rush for toilet paper.

The seed that fell on rocky ground grew only for a short time but had no foundation and therefore when difficulty arises, they can no longer meet the challenge. I often reflect in my life when I find situations difficult and rather than take them head on, I defer and fail to persist.

Moreover, the seed that choked on thorns was people hearing the Word but become seduced by life’s pleasures. Thus, the meaning and purpose of life focusses not on the gospel message but on hedonistic pursuits. Which makes me reflect on my role in my parish which sometimes I see as a chore rather than an opportunity to encounter Jesus through people and other parish activities. While, the seed that fell on fertile soil that yield increased 100 times. A great example, is how Catholic schools have a sense of mission in proclaiming the Gospel and continuing Christ’s mission.