What interests me most about this selection are not the parables themselves, but the commentary at the end. "Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private." Why did the bishops choose to include this passage in the reading? It is not integral to understanding either of the preceding parables, and they are more than willing to slice and dice other readings to remove extraneous lines. So what is their message? Are we the clueless crowds forever scratching our heads, or the slightly less clueless disciples for whom there is hope? And who exactly is playing the role of Jesus, privately explaining the Truth to the chosen few?