Parables of the Gospel
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By Saint Gregory the Great | Translated by Nora Burke
No matter the stage, the career of Saint Gregory the Great was marked consistently by excellence. Appointed Prefect of Rome around the age of thirty, Gregory forsook his worldly success in favor of monastic silence and communion with God, establishing at his ancestral home the Monastery of St. Andrew. There, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, he lived a “life of permanent dialogue with the Lord in listening to his word.” Providentially, Gregory was called in turn to leave the monastery for the See of Peter; there, his deep understanding of the Divine Word stood him in excellent stead—perhaps nowhere more tangibly than in his preaching.
And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. To whom he said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables… (Luke 8:10)
Selected from his work of forty homilies on the Gospels (Homilia XL in Evangelia) and translated by Nora Burke, Saint Gregory’s Parables of the Gospel comprises an even dozen sermons on the parables of the Hidden Treasure; the Laborers in the Vineyard; the Marriage Feast; the Ten Virgins; the Talents; the Sower; the Great Harvest; the Barren Fig Tree; the Great Banquet; the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin; the Rich Man and Lazarus; and the Good Shepherd.
Saint Gregory the Great (c. 540–604) reigned as pope from 590 to 604. A preeminent figure in the history of Christianity, Gregory left a lasting legacy for the Catholic Church and Western society more broadly, through his astute ecclesial reforms and political administrations, prolific spiritual and sacramental writings, and his zealous missionary work.
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