Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

July 20, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16,
Romans 8:26-27
Matthew 13:24-43 or 13:24-30

A reflection on today's Scripture:

The Gospel today is all about the growth of the Kingdom.

We know that Jesus was the Master story-teller, and He often used a form called a "parable," in which a truth is compared to something very familiar. Today, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is "like a man who sowed good seed," or "like a mustard seed," or "like yeast." Notice how tiny and seemingly insignificant are the three examples that Jesus uses. Then, something creative and powerful happens! The good seed has grown into a field of rich, golden grain, the little mustard seed has developed into such a large and bushy tree that the birds come and dwell in its branches, and the tiny bit of yeast has caused the dough to ferment and expand into delicious, fragrant bread!

The first parable is the most developed, for there is an element of high drama here. An enemy (the devil) comes at night to sow weeds in with the grain. The farmer's helpers (Jesus' disciples) are dismayed, and are all set to pull out the weeds, until the farmer (God) wisely stops them, warning them to patiently wait until harvest time (judgment day) to separate weeds from the wheat.

There are many lessons for us today. First, how do we know the difference between a plant and a weed? We mustn't be too quick to make judgments! Some weeds are delicious and useful, like dill weed and dandelions. Especially when it comes to people, it's best to let God decide! Our job is to carefully cultivate the wheat.

St. Augustine tells us that we must love everyone—not just those who are the faithful members of the Church. To those who say, "We are your enemies," we are to say, "No, you are brothers and sisters of ours, not our enemies." Why? Because by our love and patience, we may bring about a change of heart and mind in those who, at present, work evil.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical "Saved by Hope," tells us that Christians are certain that, whatever happens in our lives, we will one day experience a favorable outcome. "Only when the future is certain as a positive reality, does it become possible to live the present as well." Hope makes it all possible to live patiently with the weeds in the midst of the wheat! God will take care of the rest on judgment day.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore []
email: pwhitmore29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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