Thus said the Lord to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.” So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, “Go now to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.
Psalm Deuteronomy 32:18-21
You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The Lord saw it, and was jealous;
he spurned his sons and daughters.
He said: I will hide my face from them,
I will see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom there is no faithfulness.
They made me jealous with what is no god,
provoked me with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with what is no people,
provoke them with a foolish nation.
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth to speak in parables;
I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”
In Jeremiah we read about how an inactive or unfaithful life, symbolized in the loin cloth, becomes rotten because of disuse. The Lord tells Jeremiah how the sins of idolatry, or pursuing and loving the ungodly things, leads only to ruin and the people themselves will become good for nothing.
The Gospel tells us how the life of faith is active. It grows and bears fruit. Jesus speaks to them in parables so that they themselves will ponder and learn to understand the mysteries of faith. God’s people must cling to him closely and be an outward sign of his presence. If they do that, they will increase and prosper and provide for others. They will show forth God’s name, his glory and his praise.
Meditating on the parables will yield for us hidden truths of God’s nature, we will become his servants who cooperate with him actively sharing the faith and satisfied to know the truth.
Today we can ask God for an increase in faith so that we will see the fruits of what we ask. May we never think that there is anything greater or more fulfilling than worshipping God alone and believing in his Word.