July 20, 2008
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13: 24-43
He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he replied, 'No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'" 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." Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you wanting to grow in my knowledge of you and wanting to grow in my love for you. I want to show my love by truly loving others as you have loved me. My falls are many; yet I trust in your grace, and I always want to get up. I trust that your mercy will change my heart, so that over time I will stand more than fall. I stand before you, ready to listen to your words and ready to unite myself more perfectly to your most holy will.
Petition: Lord Jesus, forge in me a new heart, one that is on fire for your Gospel and for your mission.
1. Uproot the Weeds Jesus pours his grace upon each one of us; even a drop is enough to transform our lives. Why, then, are there so many weeds in our gardens? That little ugly guy we call the devil cannot plant weeds without our permission. How are we going to identify the weeds? How are we going to uproot them? First we need to ask these questions: Do we want to find those nasty weeds? Do we want to do the work necessary to uproot them? Jesus wants to know.
2. Our Hearts Were Made for God After Jesus talks with us about the weeds, he moves the discussion to a new plane. He wants us to try to penetrate the mystery of his Kingdom, which he wants to plant in our hearts. Jesus wants us to appreciate that since he is God, he is infinite, and even though we are finite, we are blessed with immortal souls that are equipped to grasp, desire, identify with and surrender to God and his will.
3. The Heart of an Apostle Christ sent his apostles into a hostile world: a world that believed in many gods, a world that had just crucified Christ. Still, the apostles sowed the Gospel message far and wide, and it took root in the hearts of many. The Kingdom of God grew. Now it is our turn. Jesus calls us to be apostles, to sow his Gospel far and wide. We form part of an unbreakable chain of faith. Let’s live our lives as true and fearless apostles. Lord Jesus, how I can be your ever faithful and courageous apostle?
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, pluck out the weeds in my heart and plant your mission within me. Fill me with your thirst for the salvation of souls, and move me to quench your thirst with my every breath.
Resolution: Today I will talk with someone about how we need to build and extend the Kingdom of Christ.
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