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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 07-20-14, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 07-20-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 07/19/2014 8:24:05 PM PDT by Salvation

July 20, 2014

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Wis 12:13, 16-19

There is no god besides you who have the care of all,
that you need show you have not unjustly condemned.
For your might is the source of justice;
your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.
For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved;
and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity.
But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency,
and with much lenience you govern us;
for power, whenever you will, attends you.
And you taught your people, by these deeds,
that those who are just must be kind;
and you gave your children good ground for hope
that you would permit repentance for their sins.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

R/ (5a) Lord, you are good and forgiving.
You, O LORD, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R/ Lord, you are good and forgiving.
All the nations you have made shall come
and worship you, O LORD,
and glorify your name.
For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;
you alone are God.
R/ Lord, you are good and forgiving.
You, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.
Turn toward me, and have pity on me;
give your strength to your servant.
R/ Lord, you are good and forgiving.

Reading 2 Rom 8:26-27

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

Gospel Mt 13:24-43

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

He proposed another parable to them.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.


Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as 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 who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

or Mt 13:24-30

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; mt13; ordinarytimeprayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 07/19/2014 8:24:05 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
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2 posted on 07/19/2014 8:27:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

God, Just and Forbearing (Continuation)


[13] “For neither is there any god besides thee, whose care is for all men,
to whom thou shouldst prove that thou hast not judged unjustly;
[16] For thy strength is the source of righteousness, and thy sovereignty
over all causes thee to spare all.
[17] For thou dost show thy strength when men doubt the completeness of
thy power,
and dost rebuke any insolence among those who know it.
[18] Thou who art sovereign in strength dost judge with mildness,
and with great forbearance thou dost govern us;
for thou hast power to act whenever thou dost choose.
[19] Through such works thou has taught thy people
that the righteous man must be kind,
and thou hast filled thy sons with good hope,
because thou givest repentance for sins.

*********************************************************************************************

Commentary:

12:12-27. This passage is imbued with very solid faith in the goodness and po-
wer of God, who is the only God, almighty, and has to account to no one for
what he does (vv. 12-14). Here the book of Wisdom connects up with sapiential
tradition (cf. Job 9) and with prophecy (cf. e.g. Is 45:9-13; Jer 18: 5-11). His all-
embracing power does not make God an unjust tyrant; on the contrary, God is
always righteous (vv. 15-17). Nor is his justice in any sense at odds with his mer-
cy and kindness. He shows this in his dealings with Israel, especially, but also
in his dealings with mankind at large, whose evil actions he punishes gently, to
give people a chance to change (vv. 18-25). However, he will indeed punish those
who are obdurate in their unbelief and wickedness (vv. 26-27). We find the same
teaching in the New Testament (cf. e.g., Mt 16:15-16).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 07/19/2014 8:32:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 8:26-27

Christians are Children of God (Continuation)


[26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to
pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for
words. [27] And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of
God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

“The action of the Holy Spirit may pass unnoticed because God does not reveal
to us his plans, and because man’s sin obscures the divine gifts. But faith tells
us that God is always acting. He has created us and maintains us in existence,
and he is leading all creation by his grace towards the glorious freedom of the
children of God” (St J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 130).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 07/19/2014 8:33:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 13:24-43

The Parable of the Weeds


[24] Another parable he (Jesus) put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven
may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; [25] but while men
were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went
away. [26] So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared
also. [27] And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you
not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ [28] He said to them,
‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go
and gather them?’ [29] But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up
the wheat along with them. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest; and at
harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bun-
dles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

The Mustard Seed; The Leaven


[31] Another parable He (Jesus) put before them saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven
is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; [32] it is
the smallest of all 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.”

[33] He told them another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a leaven which
a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.”

[34] All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed He said nothing to them
without a parable. [35] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will
open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the founda-
tion of the world.”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained


[36] Then He (Jesus) left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples
came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” [37]
He answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; [38] the field is
the world, and the good seed means the sons of the Kingdom; the weeds are the
sons of the evil one, [39] and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest
is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. [40] Just as the weeds are
gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. [41] The Son
of Man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all causes
of sin and evildoers, [42] and throw them out into the furnace of fire; there men
will weep and gnash their teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in
the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

24-25. “The situation is clear: the field is fertile and the seed is good; the Lord of
the field has scattered the seed at the right moment and with great skill. He even
has watchmen to make sure that the field is protected. If, afterwards, there are
weeds among the wheat, it is because men have failed to respond, because they
— and Christians in particular — have fallen asleep and allowed the enemy to ap-
proach” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 123).

25. This weed—cockle—looks very like wheat and can easily be mistaken for it un-
til the ears appear. If it gets ground up with wheat it contaminates the flour and a-
ny bread made from that flour causes severe nausea when eaten. In the East per-
sonal vengeance sometimes took the form of sowing cockle among an enemy’s
wheat. Roman law prescribed penalties for this crime.

28. “When the careless servants ask the Lord why weeds have grown in his field,
the explanation is obvious: ‘inimicus homo hoc fecit: an enemy has done this.’
We Christians should have been on guard to make sure that the good things
placed in this world by the Creator were developed in the service of truth and
good. But we have fallen asleep—a sad thing, that sluggishness of our heart while
the enemy and all those who serve him worked incessantly. You can see how the
weeds have grown abundantly everywhere” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”,
123).

29-30. The end of this parable gives a symbolic explanation of why God allows
evil to have its way for a time—and for its ultimate extirpation. Evil is to run its
course on earth until the end of time; therefore, we should not be scandalized
by the presence of evil in the world. It will be obliterated not in this life, but after
death; at the Judgment (the harvest) the good will go to Heaven and the bad to
Hell.

31-32. Here, the man is Jesus Christ and the field, the world. The grain of mus-
tard seed is the preaching of the Gospel and the Church, which from very small
beginnings will spread throughout the world.

The parable clearly refers to the universal scope and spread of the Kingdom of
God: the Church, which embraces all mankind of every kind and condition, in eve-
ry latitude and in all ages, is forever developing in spite of obstacles, thanks to
God’s promise and aid.

33. This comparison is taken from everyday experience: just as leaven gradually
ferments all the dough, so the Church spreads to convert all nations.

The leaven is also a symbol of the individual Christian. Living in the middle of the
world and retaining his Christian quality, he wins souls for Christ by his word and
example: “Our calling to be children of God, in the midst of the world, requires us
not only to seek our own personal holiness, but also to go out onto all the ways
of the earth, to convert them into roadways that will carry souls over all obsta-
cles and lead them to the Lord. As we take part in all temporal activities as or-
dinary citizens, we are to become leaven acting on the mass” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ Is Passing By”, 120).

34-35. Revelation, God’s plans, are hidden (cf. Matthew 11:25) from those who
are disposed to accept them. The Evangelist wishes to emphasize the need for
simplicity and for docility to the Gospel. By recalling Psalm 78:2, he tells us once
more, under divine inspiration, that the Old Testament prophecies find their fulfill-
ment in our Lord’s preaching.

36-43. While making its way on earth, the Church is composed of good and bad
people, just men and sinners: they are mixed in with one another until the harvest
time, the end of the world, when the Son of Man, in His capacity as Judge of the
living and the dead, will divide the good from the bad at the Last Judgment—the
former going to eternal glory, the inheritance of the saints; the latter, to the eter-
nal fire of Hell. Although the just and the sinners are now side by side, the Church
has the right and the duty to exclude those who cause scandal, especially those
who attack its doctrine and unity; this it can do through ecclesiastical excommu-
nication and other canonical penalties. However, excommunication has a medici-
nal and pastoral function—to correct those who are obstinate in error, and to pro-
tect others from them.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 07/19/2014 8:34:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Wisdom 12:13,16-19 ©

There is no god, other than you, who cares for every thing,

to whom you might have to prove that you never judged unjustly;

Your justice has its source in strength,

your sovereignty over all makes you lenient to all.

You show your strength when your sovereign power is questioned

and you expose the insolence of those who know it;

but, disposing of such strength, you are mild in judgement,

you govern us with great lenience,

for you have only to will, and your power is there.

By acting thus you have taught a lesson to your people

how the virtuous man must be kindly to his fellow men,

and you have given your sons the good hope

that after sin you will grant repentance.


Psalm

Psalm 85:5-6,9-10,15-16 ©

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,

  full of love to all who call.

Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer

  and attend to the sound of my voice.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

All the nations shall come to adore you

  and glorify your name, O Lord:

for you are great and do marvellous deeds,

  you who alone are God.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

But you, God of mercy and compassion,

  slow to anger, O Lord,

abounding in love and truth,

  turn and take pity on me.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.


Second reading

Romans 8:26-27 ©

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Ep1:17,18

Alleluia, alleluia!

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

enlighten the eyes of our mind,

so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Alleluia!

Or

Mt11:25

Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessed are you, Father,

Lord of heaven and earth,

for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom

to mere children.

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel

Matthew 13:24-43 ©

Jesus put another parable before the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’

  He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’

  He told them another parable, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

  In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy:

I will speak to you in parables

and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.

Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

OR:

Alternative Gospel

Matthew 13:24-30 ©

Jesus put another parable before the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’


6 posted on 07/19/2014 8:43:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 07/19/2014 8:56:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 07/19/2014 8:57:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

9 posted on 07/19/2014 8:58:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

10 posted on 07/19/2014 9:00:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

11 posted on 07/19/2014 9:01:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


12 posted on 07/19/2014 9:02:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
 

 
July Devotion: The Precious Blood

July Devotion: The Precious Blood 
Like the Sacred Wounds of Jesus, His Precious Blood deserves special honor because of its close relation to the Sacred Passion. That honor was given to it from the beginning by the Apostles who praised its redeeming power. (Rom. 5:9 "we are justified by His blood"; Heb. 13:12 "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate"; 1 John 1:7 "and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.") 
The Church has always held devotion to the Precious Blood in high esteem. We continue to recognize and publicly acknowledge the profound indebtedness of the whole human race to Christ, Priest and Victim. 
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see Jesus' head, hands, feet, and side pouring out streams of precious blood. It is precious because it: 
•      Redeems us and atones for our sins. Through His precious blood we are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Death ceases to be death and heaven's gates are opened to us.  
•      Cleanses us from all sin.  
•      Preserves us and keeps us safe from the grasp of evil.  When the Father sees us washed in the Blood of the Lamb we are spared.  
•      Comforts us. It is the constant reminder that Jesus - true God and true man suffered and died to save us and to open heaven to us because He loves us.  
•      Sanctifies us.  The same blood that justifies by taking away sin, continues to work within us.  Its action gives us the grace to continue on the path toward the Kingdom of God.  It assists us in achieving our new nature, leading us onward in subduing sin and in following the commands of God.  
Jesus shed His precious blood seven times during His life on earth.  They events were: 
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision  
•      Jesus shed His Blood whilst praying in the Garden of Olives  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns  
•      Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His cross  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the crucifixion  
•      Jesus shed His Blood and water when His side was pierced 
 
The Power of the Precious Blood 
"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God." (St. Albert the Great)
 

At their recent meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for "healing and peace."   They encouraged parishes and communities to have ongoing Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  In these dark months of woundedness, pain and violence we need to turn to the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, for healing, peace, and light.  
"What power we have in the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!  He is there to protect us, to be our refuge and our redemption.  (In Exodus 12, God told Moses to have His chosen people mark their door posts with the blood of an unblemished lamb, during the first Passover. Those who did this were spared when the Angel of the death passed by). This is why Archbishop Sheen said that we must call down the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  For, he warned, when we stop calling down the Blood of the Lamb, we start calling down the blood of each other."  (From our book Bread of Life)      
"And the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water" (Rev 7:17). 
"In the tumultuous events of our time, it is important to look to the Eucharist: it must be at the heart of the life of priests and consecrated people; the light and strength of spouses in putting into practice their commitment to fidelity, chastity and the apostolate; the ideal in education and in training children, adolescents and young people; the comfort and support of those who are troubled, of the sick and all who are weeping in the Gethsemane of life."  (Pope John Paul II)  
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! 
"The only time our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night when He went into His agony.  But as often in the history of the church since that time, evil was awake, but the disciples were asleep.  That is why there came out of His anguished and lonely Heart a sigh: 'Could you not watch one hour with Me?'" (Mt 26:40).  Not for an hour of activity did he plead, but for an hour of friendship (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).  
 
St. Maria Goretti,  Patroness of Youth & Children of Mary, Feast-July 6 St. Maria of Italy (1890-1902), couldn't wait to make her First Communion.  She wanted to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist so that she could become more beautiful and pure like Him; she wanted Him to live in her, close to her heart.  After she received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, she stayed in Church for a long time after Mass to talk to Him. Maria's family lived with and worked for a farmer. His son Alessandro kept trying to make Maria sin against purity.  One day, when everyone else was working, Alessandro grabbed Maria and tried to make her sin.  Maria kept crying out for him to stop, and each time she did, he stabbed her. Courageously,   Maria resisted him and was stabbed fourteen times. St. Maria died the next day.  
"Look at Maria Goretti....  Like her, be capable of defending your purity of heart and body.  Be committed to the struggle against evil and sin.  Always esteem and love, purity and virginity." (Pope John Paul II, 1990)      
 
A Prayer for Priests 
O my God, help those priests who are faithful to remain faithful; to those who are falling, stretch forth Your Divine Hand that they may grasp it as their support.  In the great ocean of Your mercy, lift those poor unfortunate ones who have fallen, that being engulfed therein they may receive the grace to return to Your Great Loving Heart.  Amen.  Precious Blood of Jesus, protect them!
 
The Eucharist is the fruit of our Lords Passion. Jesus gave up His Body on the cross so that He may give you His Body in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus poured out His very last drop of Blood on the cross so that He may fill you with His Divine Love each time that you receive Him in Holy Communion and visit Him in Eucharistic Adoration! 
"The Eucharist, in the Mass and outside of the Mass, is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and is therefore deserving of the worship that is given to the living God, and to Him alone" (Pope John Paul II, September 29, 1979, Phoenix Park, Ireland) 
"The bread and wine, fruit of human hands, transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, become a pledge of the 'new heaven and new earth,' announced by the Church in her daily mission." "In Christ, whom we adore present in the mystery of the Eucharist, the father uttered his final word with regard to humanity and human history." "To live the Eucharist, it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance."  "How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support?" "To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist" (Pope John Paul II, World Mission Message 2004).
 
The Power of the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist  
 
"The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood.  Every ceremony in the Church tells of it . . . .  Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Everything that is holy on earth is either a leaf, bud, blossom or fruit of the Blood of Jesus. To its fountains God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission of him in anything else.  Only there is his lost sonship to be found. The saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celebacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity.  The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains" (Father Faber, The Precious Blood).  
 

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood on July 1.

The extraordinary importance of the saving Blood of Christ has ensured a central place for its memorial in the celebration of this cultic mystery: at the centre of the Eucharistic assembly, in which the Church raises up to God in thanksgiving "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10, 16; cf Ps 115-116, 13) and offers it to the faithful as a "real communion with the Blood of Christ" (1 Cor 10, 16); and throughout the Liturgical Year. The Church celebrates the saving Blood of Christ not only on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, but also on many other occasions, such that the cultic remembrance of the Blood of our redemption (cf 1 Pt 1, 18) pervades the entire Liturgical Year. Hence, at Vespers during Christmastide, the Church, addressing Christ, sings: "Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo redempti sumus sanguine, ob diem natalis tui hymnum novum concinimus." In the Paschal Triduum, the redemptive significance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ is continuously recalled in adoration. During the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday the Church sings the hymn: "Mite corpus perforatur, sanguis unde profluit; terra, pontus, astra, mundus quo lavanturflumine", and again on Easter Sunday, "Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roesum gustando, Deo vivimus (194).

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD, 09-25-12
ST. GASPAR: Founder of the Society of the Precious Blood
Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (London, 9/18)

Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ on His Way to Calvary (Prayer/Devotion)
Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
Catholic Word of the Day: PRECIOUS BLOOD, 12-03-11
The Traditional Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Catholic Caucus)
Devotion to the Precious Blood
DOCTRINE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And More on the Precious Blood
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
NOTHING IS MORE POTENT AGAINST EVIL THAN PLEADING THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus


"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you"  (Jn 6:53).  

13 posted on 07/19/2014 9:05:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
July 2014

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.

For Evangelization: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

14 posted on 07/19/2014 9:06:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

Commentary of the day
Homily attributed to Saint Macarius of Egypt (?-390), monk
No.24, 4 ; PG 34, 662

"Until the whole batch was leavened"

If someone kneads bread without mixing leaven into it, they may well apply themselves to the task, knead and work at it, the dough will not rise and can’t be used as food. But when leaven has been mixed in it draws all the dough to itself and makes it all rise, as in the parable the Lord applied to the Kingdom… It is the same with meat: no matter how much care you take, if you neglect to put in salt to preserve it,… it will smell bad and become uneatable. In the same sort of way, imagine the whole of humanity as meat or dough and that the divine nature of the Holy Spirit is salt and leaven from another world. If the heavenly leaven of the Spirit and good salt of the divine nature… are not added to our lowly human nature and mixed into it, the soul will never lose its bad odor of sin and will not rise by losing the heaviness and impurities of the “leaven of wickedness” (1Cor 5,7)…

If a soul only relies on its own strength and thinks itself able to achieve complete success of itself, without the help of the Holy Spirit, it is greatly deceived. It is not made for the dwelling places of heaven nor made for the Kingdom… If sinful man does not draw near to God, does not renounce the world, does not await in hope and patience a good that is foreign to its own nature, namely the strength of the Holy Spirit; if the Lord does not instil his own divine life from on high into that soul, that person will never taste the true life… On the other hand, if he has received the Spirit’s grace, if he does not turn away from it, if he does not offend him by his negligence and wrongdoing, if, after persevering a long time like this in the fight, he does not “grieve the Spirit” (Eph 4,30), he will have the happiness of winning eternal life.


15 posted on 07/19/2014 9:09:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY MT 13:1-23

'Whoever has ears ought to hear’

Fr. Robert Wagner

 

In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples the parable of the sower and the seed, which He concludes with the following: “Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Taken literally, the warning makes little sense. Can a man command his ears to hear, any more than he can command his nose to smell or his eyes to see? Hearing is what ears do, whether we want them to or not.

That being said, we recognize that there are different types of “hearing.” Even though our ears pick up everything they can, many sounds do not even register in our thoughts. Some are ignored because they hold no immediate importance to us, like the whir of an air conditioner. Others register in our minds, but are ignored because we disregard their urgency. We have all been guilty of such selective hearing, when someone speaks to us but we do not focus on what they are saying.

Jesus does not want us to fall into that trap when we hear His divine teaching. “Whoever has ears, ought to hear” applies to all Jesus says, and it is particularly fitting for the parable of the sower and the seed, whose subject is hearing and responding to the “word of the kingdom,” which is the Gospel message. We, like those disciples following Jesus in Galilee, certainly hear what He teaches about listening to the divine truth, but in order to bear a harvest of 30-, 60-, or 100-fold, it takes more than just hearing. It requires taking the words to heart and putting them into action.

How do we do this as Christ's disciples? First and foremost, truly hearing the message of Jesus takes faith. We as His disciples must believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. If we treat His as just one of many voices we follow to guide us, we will be distracted by the noise of the world and selectively hear the truths He reveals in His words and the teaching of His church. In such a situation, we will be tempted to ignore some of the harder truths He teaches, and less willing to live sacrificially when the world offers a teaching that is much easier to hear and follow. It is only when we recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd and place our faith in the truth He offers for our salvation that we are able to hear with our ears, our minds and our hearts.

Secondly, we need to place ourselves into a position to hear the words Jesus speaks to us. It is much easier to listen when we are in a quiet room and totally focusing on the person speaking to us. Much more difficult would be a conversation in a loud restaurant, surrounded by televisions that distract us, while we simultaneously attempt to flag down a waiter. Likewise, listening to the word of Jesus — in prayer, at Mass, reading scripture, etc. — requires that we remove the distractions we can and focus our attention on what He is telling us. We do this by making an effort — depending on our situation, sometimes an extraordinary effort — to arrive at Mass early so we have time to settle into our pews and settle our hearts and minds with prayer before the opening hymn begins. We do this by finding a quiet place where we will not be easily distracted when we pray our rosary or read Scripture or examine our conscience. We do this by choosing a time of day when we are as alert as possible to pray or do our spiritual reading, knowing this will allow us to focus more easily on what Jesus wants to speak to us.

God has a message of peace, love and salvation for each and every one of us. It is a message that will set our hearts aflame and provide guidance and light for our path to eternal life. Let us make the effort to listen with ears, minds and hearts that are attentive to His voice. May God increase our faith so we may trust what He tells us so that we as His disciples may bear harvests of 30-, 60- and 100-fold.

Fr. Wagner is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s secretary.


16 posted on 07/19/2014 9:31:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

Year A  -  15th Sunday in ordinary time

The word of God. The seed, the sower

Matthew 13:1-23

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach.
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.
6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away.
7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 Let anyone with ears listen!"
10 Then the disciples came and asked him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
11 He answered, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that 'seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.'
14 With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: 'You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and
they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn -- and I would heal them.'
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.
23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word
and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty." (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

My word can be compared to a little seed, that falling into fertile soil will germinate and grow; therefore fulfilling the mission that it has been created for. A seed is very small but has a great potential. My word sounds simple as a human word, but coming out of my mouth it is no longer a human word but a divine command.

My word can be compared to a precious stone that a man is looking for with great desire. When he finds it he will be very happy, he will make it his treasure. There is nothing greater in this world than that which will give you eternal life. I am the Word of God, the Savior of the world whose word you must treasure in your heart to give you eternal life and joy.

My word is the eternal word of God, the word that has created everything that has come into existence, my word is the ever powerful live command of God that is always ready to create, to shape, to correct, to build and to sanctify.

Listen you who have ears, but not just listen with your hearing. Listen with your heart since that is the center of your being, it is the spiritual place where my spirit gives life and you can draw life from me. It is in your heart that you keep your treasures, whether they are the affections to your material things or whether they are heavenly things. Where your treasure is, there is your heart. Let me be your treasure, let your heart be in me.

Listen to this word of mine with the reverence that it deserves, understand the power behind that word and take it quickly into your heart, make it your treasure, savor it in your mouth as if it was a delicious delicacy that you want to relish forever, give it the power that it claims and rest assured that my word will perform miracles in your life.

My word is not a human word; it is the word of God. When I said, “Let there be light” the elements bowed before my power as the Word of God, they formed light. In the same way my word is still alive and active, powerful enough to continue to work in those who take it into their hearts and put it into practice.

Honor my word by studying it, by meditating it, by accepting it and by living by it. My word is like an arrow pointing straight to heaven, my word is the answer to all your questions. Come to me, listen to me, learn from me and live.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


17 posted on 07/19/2014 9:35:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

Saint or Ain’t? A Sermon for the 16th Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

We live in difficult times for the Church, and from many sectors the very legitimate cry for reform goes up frequently. Beyond the sexual abuse scandal, there are also deep concerns regarding the uncertain trumpet of Catholic preaching, lukewarm and nominal Catholics, an overall lack of discipline among Catholics, and a lack of disciplining by the bishops and clergy of Catholics, clergy and lay, who cause scandal. In a way, the list is quite long and has been well discussed on this blog, which is, overall sympathetic to the need for reform, and greater zeal in the Church.

But today’s Gospel issues a caution in becoming over zealous to root out sin and sinners from the Church. It is the memorable Parable of the Wheat and Tares. The Lord’s cautionary rebuke to the zealous farmhands who wanted to tear out the weeds, was that they might harm the wheat as well. Wait, says the Lord, leave it to me. There will come a day of reckoning, but it is not now, wait till harvest.

This does not mean that we are never to take no notice of sin or never rebuke it. There is need for discipline in the Church and other texts call for it (see below). But this text is meant to balance a scouring that is too thorough, or a puritanical clean sweep that overrules God’s patience and seeks to turn the Church from a hospital for sinners to a germ-free (and hence people-free) zone.

We are going to need to depend on a lot of patience and mercy from God if any of us are going to stand a chance. Summoning the wrath of God to come on sinners, as some do, may well destroy them as well. We all have a journey to make from being an ain’t to being a saint.

So let’s allow this Gospel to give us some guidance in finding balance between the summons to reform and the summons to patience. The guidance comes in Four Steps.

I. WAKE UP – The text says, Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.

Notice in this text that every one was sleeping when the enemy sowed weeds. There is a great mystery as to why God allows Satan to sow the seeds in the first place. But there is far less mystery as to why Satan has been so successful in our times. The weeds are numerous, and are vigorously growing in our times. And part of the reason is that we, in the Church, have been sleeping while Satan has steadily sown his weeds among us.

Now don’t just blame the Church leadership. Though we share plenty of the blame. But the fact is that too many in the whole Church have been in a moral sleep. Too many Catholics will just watch anything, listen to anything, expose themselves to anything. We just go with the flow, and live unreflective sleepy lives. We also allow our children to be exposed to almost anything. Too many parents have little knowledge of what their children are watching, listening to or surfing on the Internet, who their friends are etc. We hardly think of God or his plan for our lives, and, collectively, have priorities that are more worldly than spiritual. We are not awake and sober to sin and sin’s incursions, we are not outraged, we take little action other than to shrug, and seem to be more concerned with fitting in than living as a sign of contradiction.

Church leadership too has been inwardly focused. While the culture was melting down beginning in the late 1960s, we were tuning guitars, moving the furniture in the sanctuaries, having debates about Church authority, gender wars, and seemingly endless internal squabbles about every facet of Church life. I do not deny that there were right and wrong answers in these debates, and that rebellious trends had to be addressed, but while all this was going on, Satan was sowing seeds and we lost the culture.

We are just now emerging from our 50 years in the cocoon to find a world gone mad and we, who lead the Church, clergy and lay, have to admit that this happened on our watch.

It is long past time to wake up and sober up to the reality that Satan has been working while we squabbled and sang songs to ourselves.

And lots of hollering and blaming one side of the Church or the other, this kind of liturgy or that, is not very helpful, because that is still inward in its focus.

It’s time to wake up and go out. There is a work to do in reclaiming the culture for Christ and reproposing the gospel to world that has lost it.

Step one in a finding a balance between the need for reform and patience is to wake up

II. WISE UP – the text says, When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said,’Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.

Part of the sobriety we have to regain is to understand that we have an enemy who hates us, Satan. He is responsible for much of the spiritual, moral and even physical ruin we see around us. We have too long been dismissive of his presence, as though he were a fairy tale. While we cannot blame everything on him, for we connive with him, and we also suffer the weakness of the flesh and the bad influence of the world. But Satan is real and he is an enemy and he hates you. He hates also your children, he hates the Church, and he hates anything and anyone that is holy, or even on the way to holiness.

We have to wise up and ask the Lord for an anointing. We need not utterly fear the devil, but we need to understand that he is at work. We need to learn and know his moves, his designs, his tactics, and tools. And we need the grace, having recognized him, to rebuke him at every turn.

Now be careful here. To wise up means to learn and understand Satan’s tactics. But it does not mean to imitate them in retaliation. Upon waking up and wising up, some want to go right to battle, but in worldly types of ways. Yet, the Lord often proposes paradoxical tactics which are rooted in the wisdom of the Cross, not the world. Wising up to Satan and his tactics, does not often mean to engage in a full on frontal assault. Often the Lord counsels humility to battle pride, love (not retaliation) to conquer hate, and accepted weakness to overcome strength.

To wise up means to come to the wisdom of the cross, not the world. As we shall see, the Lord is not nearly as warlike in his response to his enemy as some zealous reformers propose to be. We may be properly zealous for reform, and want to usher in change rapidly, but be very careful what wisdom you are appealing to. Scripture says, Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. (1 Cor 3:19-20).

Step two in a finding a balance between the need for reform and patience is to wise up.

III. WAIT UP - The text says, His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest...

We have already laid the ground work for the Lord’s rebuke to these overly-zealous reformers. Today in the Church we are well aware of the need for reform, so is the Lord. He says, clearly, an enemy has done this. And yet, to those who want to go through the Church rooting out every sinner, every ne’er do well, every bad theologian (and there are many), and call for an increasing and severe clamp-down by the bishops across the board, the Lord gives a balancing notion.

There is need for discipline in the Church, and even punitive measures from time to time. The Lord himself proposes excommunication in certain instances (e.g. Matt 18:17), St Paul too (e.g. 1 Cor 5:5). Yet, texts such as those need to be balanced by texts such as the gospel today. Fraternal correction is an essential work of charity (I have written more on that here: Fraternal Correction) and it must be conducted with patience and love.

But the The Lord is patient and here directs us to also to be prepared to wait and not be over zealous in pulling weeds, lest we harm the wheat. The Lord says, remarkably, let them grow together. Notice, now is the time to grow, the harvest comes later. In certain, rarer instances the harm may be so egregious that the Church has to act to remove or discipline a sinner more severely. But there is also a place to wait and allow the wheat and tares to grow together. After all, sinners may repent and the Lord wants to give people the time they need to repent. Scripture says, God’s patience is directed to our salvation (2 Peter 3:9).

So, while there is sometimes need for strong discipline in the Church, there is also this directive to balance such notions: Leave it be, wait, place this in the hands of God, give time for the sinner to convert, keep working and praying for that, but do not act precipitously.

We have had many discussion here on the blog about whether and how the bishops should discipline certain Catholic politicians who, by their bad example and bad votes, undermine the gospel and even cost lives through abortion and euthanasia.

While I am sympathetic to the need for them to be disciplined, how, when and who, remains a prudential judgement for the Bishop to make. And, as we can see, there are certain Scriptures which balance each other. In the end, we cannot simply make a one-size-fits-all norm. There are prudential aspects to the decision and Lord himself speaks to different situations in different ways.

In today’s Gospel the Lord says, wait. And generally it is good advice to follow. After all, how do YOU know that you won’t or don’t need more time? Before we ask God to lower the boom on sinners, we ought to remember that we are going to need his patience and mercy too. Scripture says, The measure that you measure to others will be measured back to you. (Matt 7:2& Luke 6:38). Be very careful before summoning God’s wrath, for who may endure the Day of his coming (Mal 3:2)?

Step three in a finding a balance between the need for reform and patience is to wait up and balance zeal with patience.

IV. WASH UP – The text says, Then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.

So you see, there is a harvest and those who have sinned or led others to sin and have not repented are going to have to answer to the Lord for it.

The Lord is no pushover and he does not make light of sin. In saying wait, he does not mean that judgment will never come. But his general advice is “Leave it to me.” And to us he says, in effect, “As for you, wash up, get ready, and help others to get ready too. For judgment day is surely coming and every knee will bend to me and every one will render and account.

That’s it, Wash up! You’re either going to be a saint, or an ain’t. For now the wheat and tares grow together. But later the tares and all the weeds will be gathered and cast into the fire.

So here’s the balance, God is patient, but there is a harvest and we have to get ready by God’s grace. For the overly zealous God says wait. But to the complacent and sleepy God says, wake up, wise up and wash up!

Here is a great exposition of this Gospel from Fr. Francis Martin. Don’t Miss it.


18 posted on 07/19/2014 9:47:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Wisdom 12:13,16-19 II: Romans 8:26-27


Gospel
Matthew 13:24-43

24 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
27 And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?'
28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
29 But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
31 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;
32 it is the smallest of all 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."
33 He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
34 All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable.
35 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
37 He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38 the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.


Interesting Details
One Main Point

God believes in people. He is patient to give us freedom to discern, spiritual food to grow, and time to transform for the Kingdom of God.


Reflections
  1. To separate rightly the ones from the others is an impossible task for those who can judge only according to appearance. God alone can see clearly what is in the human heart. Contemplate your social and spiritual environments. What do you see of yourself and what do you perceive of others?
  2. Contemplate your daily life. Like the mustard seeds that grow ceaselessly, what effort have you put in to grow spiritually under the grace of God? Is your faith growing stronger day after day? What should you do to encourage it along?
  3. Like the yeast that leavens the dough, how have you allowed or used the Words of God to transform your complete being for the Kingdom of God?

19 posted on 07/19/2014 9:54:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Reason can but ascertain the profound difficulties of our condition, it cannot remove them.

-- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

20 posted on 07/19/2014 9:59:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

21 posted on 07/19/2014 10:00:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


22 posted on 07/19/2014 10:02:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr

Saint Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr
Optional Memorial
July 20th

St. Apollinaris, c. 549 mosaic
detail of apse
Ravenna, church of St. Apollinaris

Saint Appolinaris, probably born in Antioch, is one of the great Christian martyrs of the first century. He was made Bishop of Ravenna by Saint Peter. The date of his consecration is not known, though he was bishop for twenty-six years. His preaching won many converts to the Christian faith; but his very effective evangelization led to his continual persecution, and he was repeatedly driven from Ravenna. Once he was found severely beaten and half dead on the seashore; and for a time he was concealed by the Christians. He was captured again and compelled to walk on burning coals, and he was again driven from the region. Despite this, he returned to Ravenna and continued his work of evangelization. Again he was captured, hacked with knives, had scalding water poured over his wounds, was beaten in the mouth with stones because he persisted in preaching, and then, loaded with chains, he was cast into a dungeon to starve to death; however, after four days he was put on board ship and sent to Greece. There he continued his preaching and miracles. His very presence caused the oracles to be silent, so he was beaten and sent back to Italy. After three years, he returned to Ravenna a fourth time. Vespasian (9-79 AD) was Emperor at this time, and in response complaints he issued a decree of banishment against the Christians. Apollinaris was kept hidden for some time; but as he was passing out of the gates of the city, he was set upon and savagely beaten. He lived for seven days, and foretold that the persecution of Christians would increase, but that the Church would ultimately triumph. It has been suggested that Apollinaris was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, but this is not certain.  

[Based on the entry in the Catholic Encyclopedia]

 

Collect:
Direct your faithful, Lord, in the way of eternal salvation,
which the Bishop Saint Apollinaris showed by his teaching and martyrdom,
and grant, through his intercession,
that we may so perserve in keeping your commandments
as to merit being crowned with him.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16
"For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the fountains, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice.

Gospel Reading: John 10:11-18
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."


23 posted on 07/20/2014 6:47:09 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Saint's Days are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

SAINT APOLLINARIS of RAVENNA, First Bishop of Ravenna and Martyr [Apollinarius]

24 posted on 07/20/2014 6:48:49 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Margaret of Antioch

Feast Day: July 20

Born: Antioch (in Pisidia)

Died: 304

Patron of: childbirth, pregnant women, dying people, kidney disease, peasants, exiles, falsely accused people; nurses

25 posted on 07/20/2014 6:51:52 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Joseph Barsabbas

Feast Day: July 20
Born/Died: (around the time of Jesus)

The Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, mentions that St. Peter wanted to replace Judas after Jesus' resurrection. Peter, who did not want to show favoritism, asked the community to suggest someone. He wanted a person who had been among the disciples from the time Jesus was baptized by John until the Lord's death and resurrection.

The first Christians suggested two men, who were equally good. One was Joseph, called Barsabbas or Joseph the Just, and the other was Matthias. "One of these men must become a witness with us of Jesus' resurrection," Peter said.

The community prayed. "Lord," they said, "you know the hearts of each of us here. Help us to know the person who should take the place of Judas." Then they "cast lots." The man selected was Matthias and he was added to the company of apostles.

Soon the disciples spread out and went with the mission to preach the good news of salvation to all nations. Joseph Barsabbas preached in many places using his energy to spread the Good News. His love for the Church and his dedication whether he was chosen or not, are his gift to us.

Reflection: When we sometimes feel unappreciated for what we have done, we can pray to the Holy Spirit to free us from the need to be praised.


26 posted on 07/20/2014 6:54:29 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 13
24 Another parable he proposed to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seeds in his field. Aliam parabolam proposuit illis, dicens : Simile factum est regnum cælorum homini, qui seminavit bonum semen in agro suo : αλλην παραβολην παρεθηκεν αυτοις λεγων ωμοιωθη η βασιλεια των ουρανων ανθρωπω σπειροντι καλον σπερμα εν τω αγρω αυτου
25 But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. cum autem dormirent homines, venit inimicus ejus, et superseminavit zizania in medio tritici, et abiit. εν δε τω καθευδειν τους ανθρωπους ηλθεν αυτου ο εχθρος και εσπειρεν ζιζανια ανα μεσον του σιτου και απηλθεν
26 And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. Cum autem crevisset herba, et fructum fecisset, tunc apparuerunt et zizania. οτε δε εβλαστησεν ο χορτος και καρπον εποιησεν τοτε εφανη και τα ζιζανια
27 And the servants of the goodman of the house coming said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle? Accedentes autem servi patrisfamilias, dixerunt ei : Domine, nonne bonum semen seminasti in agro tuo ? unde ergo habet zizania ? προσελθοντες δε οι δουλοι του οικοδεσποτου ειπον αυτω κυριε ουχι καλον σπερμα εσπειρας εν τω σω αγρω ποθεν ουν εχει ζιζανια
28 And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? Et ait illis : Inimicus homo hoc fecit. Servi autem dixerunt ei : Vis, imus, et colligimus ea ? ο δε εφη αυτοις εχθρος ανθρωπος τουτο εποιησεν οι δε δουλοι ειπον αυτω θελεις ουν απελθοντες συλλεξομεν αυτα
29 And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Et ait : Non : ne forte colligentes zizania, eradicetis simul cum eis et triticum. ο δε εφη ου μηποτε συλλεγοντες τα ζιζανια εκριζωσητε αμα αυτοις τον σιτον
30 Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn. Sinite utraque crescere usque ad messem, et in tempore messis dicam messoribus : Colligite primum zizania, et alligate ea in fasciculos ad comburendum : triticum autem congregate in horreum meum. αφετε συναυξανεσθαι αμφοτερα μεχρι του θερισμου και εν καιρω του θερισμου ερω τοις θερισταις συλλεξατε πρωτον τα ζιζανια και δησατε αυτα εις δεσμας προς το κατακαυσαι αυτα τον δε σιτον συναγαγετε εις την αποθηκην μου
31 Another parable he proposed unto them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Aliam parabolam proposuit eis dicens : Similis est regnum cælorum grano sinapis, quod accipiens homo seminavit in agro suo : αλλην παραβολην παρεθηκεν αυτοις λεγων ομοια εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων κοκκω σιναπεως ον λαβων ανθρωπος εσπειρεν εν τω αγρω αυτου
32 Which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof. quod minimum quidem est omnibus seminibus : cum autem creverit, majus est omnibus oleribus, et fit arbor, ita ut volucres cæli veniant, et habitent in ramis ejus. ο μικροτερον μεν εστιν παντων των σπερματων οταν δε αυξηθη μειζον των λαχανων εστιν και γινεται δενδρον ωστε ελθειν τα πετεινα του ουρανου και κατασκηνουν εν τοις κλαδοις αυτου
33 Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. Aliam parabolam locutus est eis : Similis est regnum cælorum fermento, quod acceptum mulier abscondit in farinæ satis tribus, donec fermentatum est totum. αλλην παραβολην ελαλησεν αυτοις ομοια εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων ζυμη ην λαβουσα γυνη εκρυψεν εις αλευρου σατα τρια εως ου εζυμωθη ολον
34 All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables he did not speak to them. Hæc omnia locutus est Jesus in parabolis ad turbas : et sine parabolis non loquebatur eis : ταυτα παντα ελαλησεν ο ιησους εν παραβολαις τοις οχλοις και χωρις παραβολης ουκ ελαλει αυτοις
35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world. ut impleretur quod dictum erat per prophetam dicentem : Aperiam in parabolis os meum ; eructabo abscondita a constitutione mundi. οπως πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφητου λεγοντος ανοιξω εν παραβολαις το στομα μου ερευξομαι κεκρυμμενα απο καταβολης κοσμου
36 Then having sent away the multitudes, he came into the house, and his disciples came to him, saying: Expound to us the parable of the cockle of the field. Tunc, dimissis turbis, venit in domum : et accesserunt ad eum discipuli ejus, dicentes : Edissere nobis parabolam zizaniorum agri. τοτε αφεις τους οχλους ηλθεν εις την οικιαν ο ιησους και προσηλθον αυτω οι μαθηται αυτου λεγοντες φρασον ημιν την παραβολην των ζιζανιων του αγρου
37 Who made answer and said to them: He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man. Qui respondens ait illis : Qui seminat bonum semen, est Filius hominis. ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτοις ο σπειρων το καλον σπερμα εστιν ο υιος του ανθρωπου
38 And the field, is the world. And the good seed are the children of the kingdom. And the cockle, are the children of the wicked one. Ager autem est mundus. Bonum vero semen, hi sunt filii regnum. Zizania autem, filii sunt nequam. ο δε αγρος εστιν ο κοσμος το δε καλον σπερμα ουτοι εισιν οι υιοι της βασιλειας τα δε ζιζανια εισιν οι υιοι του πονηρου
39 And the enemy that sowed them, is the devil. But the harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers are the angels. Inimicus autem, qui seminavit ea, est diabolus. Messis vero, consummatio sæculi est. Messores autem, angeli sunt. ο δε εχθρος ο σπειρας αυτα εστιν ο διαβολος ο δε θερισμος συντελεια του αιωνος εστιν οι δε θερισται αγγελοι εισιν
40 Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be at the end of the world. Sicut ergo colliguntur zizania, et igni comburuntur : sic erit in consummatione sæculi. ωσπερ ουν συλλεγεται τα ζιζανια και πυρι καιεται ουτως εσται εν τη συντελεια του αιωνος τουτου
41 The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. Mittet Filius hominis angelos suos, et colligent de regno ejus omnia scandala, et eos qui faciunt iniquitatem : αποστελει ο υιος του ανθρωπου τους αγγελους αυτου και συλλεξουσιν εκ της βασιλειας αυτου παντα τα σκανδαλα και τους ποιουντας την ανομιαν
42 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. et mittent eos in caminum ignis. Ibi erit fletus et stridor dentium. και βαλουσιν αυτους εις την καμινον του πυρος εκει εσται ο κλαυθμος και ο βρυγμος των οδοντων
43 Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Tunc justi fulgebunt sicut sol in regno Patris eorum. Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat. τοτε οι δικαιοι εκλαμψουσιν ως ο ηλιος εν τη βασιλεια του πατρος αυτων ο εχων ωτα ακουειν ακουετω

27 posted on 07/20/2014 10:09:25 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
24. Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened to man which sowed good seed in his field:
25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27. So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field; from whence then has it tares?
28. He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Will you then that we go and gather them up?
29. But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them.
30. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

CHRYS; In the foregoing parable the Lord spoke to such as do not receive the word of God; here of those who receive a corrupting seed. This is the contrivance of the Devil, ever to mix error with truth.

JEROME; He set forth also this other parable, as it were a rich householder refreshing his guests with various meats, that each one according to the nature of his stomach might find some food adapted to him. He said not 'a second parable,' but another; for had He said 'a second,' we could not have looked for a third; but another prepares us for many more.

REMIG; Here He calls the Son of God Himself the kingdom of heaven; for He said, The kingdom of heaven is like to a man that sowed good seed in his field.

CHRYS; He then points out the manner of the Devil's snares, saying, While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares in the midst of the wheat, and departed. He here shows that error arose after truth, as indeed the course of events testifies; for the false prophets came after the Prophets, the false apostles after the Apostles, and Antichrist after Christ. For unless the Devil sees somewhat to imitate, and some to lay in wait against, he does not attempt any thing. Therefore because he saw that this man bears fruit an hundred, this sixty, and this thirty fold, and that he was not able to carry off or to choke that which had taken root, he turns to other insidious practices, mixing up his own seed, which is a counterfeit of the true, and thereby imposes upon such as are prone to be deceived. So the parable speaks, not of another seed, but of tares which bear a great likeness to wheat corn. Further, the malignity of the Devil is shown in this, that he sowed when all else was completed, that he might do the greater hurt to the husbandman.

AUG; He says, While men slept, for while the heads of the Church were abiding in sleep, and after the Apostles had received the sleep of death, then came the Devil and sowed upon the rest those whom the Lord in His interpretation calls evil children. But we do well to inquire whether by such are meant heretics, or Catholics who lead evil lives. That He says, that they were sown among the wheat, seems to point out that they were all of one communion. But forasmuch as He interprets the field to mean not the Church, but the world, we may well understand it of the heretics, who in this world are mingled with the good; for they who live amiss in the same faith may better be taken of the chaff than of the tares, for the chaff has a stem and a root in common with the grain. While schismatics again may be likened to ears that have rotted, or to straws that are broken, crushed down, and cast forth of the field. Indeed it is not necessary that every heretic or schismatic should be corporally severed from the Church; for the Church bears many who do not so publicly defend their false opinions as to attract the attention of the multitude, which when they do, then are they expelled. When then the Devil had sown upon the true Church diverse evil errors and false opinions; that is to say, where Christ's name had gone before, there he scattered errors, himself was the rather hidden and unknown; for He says, And went his way though indeed in this parable, as we learn from His own interpretation, the Lord may be understood to have signified under the name of tares all stumbling-blocks and such as work iniquity

CHRYS; In what follows He more particularly draws the picture of an heretic, in the words, When the blade grew, and put forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. For heretics at first keep themselves in the shade; but when, they have had long license, and when men have held communication with them in discourse, then they pour forth their venom.

AUG; Or otherwise; when a man begins to be spiritual, discerning between things, then he begins to see errors; for he judges concerning whatsoever he hears or reads, whether it departs from the rule of truth; but until he is perfected in the same spiritual things, he might be disturbed at so many false heresies having existed under the Christian name, whence it follows, And the servants of the householder coming to him said to him, Did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it tares? Are these servants then the same as those whom He afterwards calls reapers? Because in His exposition of the parable, He expounds the reapers to be the Angels, and none would dare say that the Angels were ignorant who had sowed tares, we should the rather understand that the faithful are here intended by the servants. And no wonder if they are also signified by the good seed; for the same thing admits of different likenesses according to its different signification; as speaking of Himself He says that He is the door, He is the shepherd.

REMIG. They came to the Lord not with the body but with the heart and desire of the soul; and from Him they gather that this was done by the craft of the Devil, whence it follows, And he said to them, An enemy has done this.

JEROME; The Devil is called a man that is an enemy because he has ceased to be God; and in the ninth Psalm it is written of him, Up, Lord, and let not man have the upper hand. Wherefore let not him sleep that is set over the Church, lest through his carelessness the enemy should sow therein tares, that is, the dogmas of the heretics.

CHRYS; He is called the enemy on account of the losses he inflicts on men; for the assaults of the Devil are made upon us, though their origin is not in his enmity towards us, but in his enmity towards God.

AUG; And when the servants of God knew that it was the Devil who had contrived this fraud, whereby when he found that he had no power in open warfare against a Master of such great name, he had introduced his fallacies under cover of that name itself, the desire might readily arise in them to remove such men from out of human affairs if opportunity should be given them; but they first appeal to God's justice whether they should so do; The servants said, Will you that we go and gather them out?

CHRYS; Wherein observe the thoughtfulness and affection of the servants; they hasten to root up the tares, thus showing their anxiety about the good seed; for this is all to which they look, not that any should be punished, but that which is sown should not perish. The Lord's answer follows, And he said to them, No.

JEROME; For repentance is left, and we are warned that we should not hastily cut off a brother, since one who is today corrupted with an erroneous dogma, may grow wiser tomorrow, and begin to defend the truth; wherefore it is added, Lest in gathering together the tares you root out the wheat also.

AUG; Wherein He renders them more patient and tranquil. For this He says, because good men while yet weak, have need in some things of being mixed up with bad, either that they may be proved by their means, or that by comparison with them they may be greatly stimulated and drawn to a better course. Or perhaps the wheat is declared to be rooted up if the tares should be gathered out of it, on account of many who though at first tares would after become wheat; yet they would never attain to this commendable change were they not patiently endured while they were evil. Thus were they rooted up, that wheat which they would become in time if spared, would be rooted up in them. It is then therefore He forbids that such should be taken away out of this life, lest in the endeavor to destroy the wicked, those of them should be destroyed among the rest who would turn out good; and lest also that benefit should be lost to the good which would accrue to them even against their will from mixing with the wicked. But this may be done seasonably when, in the end of all, there remains no more time for a change of life, or of advancing to the truth by taking opportunity and comparison of others' faults; therefore He adds, Let both grow together until the harvest, that is, until the judgment.

JEROME; But this seems to contradict that command, Put away the evil from among you. For if the rooting up be forbidden, and we are to abide in patience till the harvest time, how are we to cast forth any from among us? But between wheat and tares (which in Latin we call 'lolium') so long as it is only in blade, before the stalk has put forth an ear, there is very great resemblance, and none or little difference to distinguish them by. The Lord then warns us not to pass a hasty sentence on an ambiguous word, but to reserve it for His judgment, that when the day of judgment shall come, He may cast forth from the assembly of the saints no longer on suspicion but on manifest guilt.

AUG; For when any one of the number of Christians included in the Church is found in such sin as to incur an anathema, this is done, where danger of schism is not apprehended, with tenderness, not for his rooting out, but for his correction. But if he be not conscious of his sin, nor correct it by penitence, he will of his own choice go forth of the Church and be separated from her communion; whence when the Lord commanded, Suffer both to grow together till the harvest, He added the reason, Saying, lest when you would gather out the tares you root up the wheat also. This sufficiently shows, that when that fear has ceased, and when the safety of the crop is certain, that is when the crime is known to all, and is acknowledged as so execrable as to have no defenders, or not such as might cause any fear of a schism, then severity of discipline does not sleep, and its correction of error is so much the more efficacious as the observance of love had been more careful. But when the same infection has spread to a large number at once, nothing remains but sorrow and groans. Therefore let a man gently reprove whatever is in his power; what is not so let him bear with patience, and mourn over with affection, until He from above shall correct and heal, and let him defer till harvest time to root out the tares and winnow the chaff. But the multitude of the unrighteous is to be struck at with a general reproof, whenever there is opportunity of saying anything among the people; and above all when any scourge of the Lord from above gives opportunity, when they feel that they are scourged for their deserts; for then the calamity of the hearers opens their ears submissively to the words of their reprover, seeing the heart in affliction is ever more prone to the groans of confession than to the murmurs of resistance. And even when no tribulation lays upon them, should occasion serve, a word of reproof is usefully spent upon the multitude; for when separated it is wont to he fierce, when in a body it is wont to mourn.

CHRYS; This the Lord spoke to forbid any putting to death. Or we ought not to kill an heretic, seeing that so a never-ending war would be introduced into the world; and therefore He says, Lest you root out with them the wheat also; that is, if you draw the sword and put the heretic to death, it must needs be that many of the saints will fall upon them. Hereby He does not indeed forbid all restraint upon heretics, that their freedom of speech should be cut off, that their synods and their confessions should put broken up - but only forbids that they should be put to death.

AUG; This indeed was at first my own opinion, that no man was to be driven by force into the unity of Christ; but he was to be led by discourse, tended with in controversy, and overcome by argument, we might not have men feigning themselves to be Catholic whom we knew to be declared heretics. But this opinion of mine was overcome not by the authority of those who contradicted me, but by the examples of those that showed it in fact; for the tenor of those laws in enacting which Princes serve the Lord in fear, has had such good effect, that already some say, This we desired long ago; but now thanks be to God who has made the occasion for us, and has cut off our pleas of delay. Others say, This we have long known to be the truth; but we were held by a kind of old habit, thanks be to God who has broken our chains Others again; We knew not that this was true, and had no desire to learn it, but fear has driven us to give our attention to it, thanks be to the Lord who has banished our carelessness by the spur of terror. Others, We were deterred from entering in by false rumors, which we should not bare known to be false had we not entered in, and we should not have entered in had we not been compelled; thanks be to God who has broken up our preaching by the scourge of persecution, and has taught us by experience how empty and false things lying fame had reported concerning His Church. Others say, We thought indeed that it was of no importance in what place we held the faith of Christ but thanks be to the Lord who has gathered us together out of our division, and has shown us that it is consonant to unity of God that He should be worshipped in unity. Let then the Kings of the earth show themselves the servants of Christ by publishing laws in Christ's behalf.

ID; But who is there of you who has any wish that a heretic should perish, nay, that he should so much as lose all? Could the house of David have had peace in no other war but by the death of Absalom in that war which he waged against his father; notwithstanding his father gave strict commands to his servants that they should save him alive and unhurt, that on his repentance there might be room for fatherly affection to pardon; what then remained for him but to mourn over him when lost, and to console his domestic affliction by the peace which it had brought to his kingdom Thus our Catholic mother the Church, when by the loss of a few she gains many, soothes the sorrow of her motherly heart, healing it by the deliverance of so much people. Where then is that which those are accustomed to cry out, That it is free to all to believe? Whom has Christ done violence to? Whom has He compelled? Let them take the Apostle Paul; let them acknowledge in him Christ first compelling and afterwards teaching; first smiting and afterwards comforting. And it is wonderful to see him who entered into the Gospel by the force of a bodily infliction laboring therein more than all those who are called by word only. Why then should not the Church constrain her lost sons to return to her, when her lost sons constrained others to perish?

REMIG; It follows, And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them. The harvest is the season of reaping which here designates the day of judgment, in which the good are to be separated from the bad.

CHRYS; But why does He say, Gather first the tares? That the good should have no fears lest the wheat should be rooted up with them.

JEROME; In that He says that the bundles of tares are to be cast into the fire, and the wheat gathered into barns, it is clear that heretics also and hypocrites are to be consumed in the fires of hell, while the saints who are here represented by the wheat are received into the barns, that is into heavenly mansions.

AUG; It may be asked why He commands more than one bundle or heap of tares to be formed? Perhaps because of the variety of heretics differing not only from the wheat, but also among themselves, each several heresy, separated from communion with all the others, is designated as a bundle; and perhaps they may even then begin to be bound together for burning, when they first sever themselves from Catholic communion, and begin to have their independent church; so that it is the burning and not the binding into bundles that will take place at the end of the world. But were this so, there would not be so many who become wise again, and return from error into the Catholic Church. Wherefore we must understand the binding into bundles to be what shall come to pass in the end, that punishment should fall on them not promiscuously, but in due proportion to the obstinacy and willfulness of each separate error.

RABAN; And it should be noted that, when He says, Sowed good seed, He intends that good will which is in the elect; when He adds, An enemy came, He intimates that watch should be kept against him; when as the tares grow up, He suffers it patiently, saying, An enemy has done this, He recommends to us patience; when He says, Lest in gathering the tares, &c. He sets us an example of discretion; when hen He says, Suffer both to grow together till the harvest He teaches us long-suffering; and, lastly, He inculcates justice, when He says, Bind them into bundles to burn.

31. Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches.

CHRYS; Seeing the Lord had said above that three parts of the seed perish, and one only is preserved, and of that one part there is much loss by reason of the tares that are sown upon it; that none might say, Who then and how many shall they be that believe; He removes this cause of fear by the parable of the mustard seed: therefore it is said, Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed.

JEROME; The kingdom of heaven is the preaching of the Gospel, and the knowledge of the Scriptures which leads to life, concerning which it is said to the Jews, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you. It is the kingdom of heaven thus understood which is likened to a grain of mustard seed.

AUG; A grain of mustard seed may allude to the warmth of faith, or to its property as antidote to poison. It follows; Which a man took and sowed in his field.

JEROME; The man who sows is by most understood to be the Savior, who sows the seed in the minds of believers; by others the man himself, who sows in his field, that is, in his own heart. Who indeed is he that sows, but our own mind and understanding, which receiving the grain of preaching, and nurturing it by the dew of faith, makes it to spring up in the field of our own breast? Which is the least of all seeds. The Gospel preaching is the least of all the systems of the schools; at first view it has not even the appearance of truth, announcing a man as God, God put to death, and proclaiming the offense of the cross. Compare this teaching with the dogmas of the Philosophers, with their books, the splendor of their eloquence, the polish of their style, and you will see how the seed of the Gospel is the least of all seeds.

CHRYS; Or, the seed of the Gospel is the least of seeds, because the disciples were weaker than the whole of mankind; yet forasmuch as there was great might in them, their preaching spread throughout the whole world, and therefore it follows, But when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, that is among dogmas.

AUG; Dogmas are the decisions of sects, the points, that is, that they have determined.

JEROME; For the dogmas of Philosophers when set they have grown up, show nothing of life or strength, but watery and insipid they grow into grasses and other greens, which quickly dry up and wither away. But the Gospel preaching, though it seem small in its beginning, when sown in the mind of the hearer, or upon the world, comes up not a garden herb, but a tree, so that the birds of the air (which we must suppose to be either the souls of believers or the Powers of God set free from slavery) come and abide in its branches. The branches of the Gospel tree which have grown of the grain of mustard seed, I suppose to signify the various dogmas in which each of the birds (as explained above) takes his rest. Let us then take the wings of the dove, that flying aloft we may dwell in the branches of this tree, and may make ourselves nests of doctrines, and soaring Or you earthly things may hasten towards heavenly.

HILARY; Or, the Lord compares Himself to a grain of mustard seed, sharp to the taste, and the least of all seeds, whose strength is extracted by bruising.

GREG; Christ Himself is the grain of mustard seed, who, planted in the garden of the sepulcher, grew up a great tree; He was a grain of seed when He died and a tree when He rose again; a grain of seed in the humiliation of the flesh, a tree in the power of His majesty.

HILARY; This grain then when sown in the field, that is when seized by the people and delivered to death, and as it were buried in the ground by a sowing of the body, grew up beyond the size of all herbs, and exceeded all the glory of the Prophets. For the preaching of the Prophets was allowed as it were herbs to a sick man; but now the birds of the air lodge in the branches of the tree. By which we understand the Apostles, who put forth of Christ's might, and overshadowing the world with their boughs, are a tree to which the Gentiles flee in hope of life, and having been long tossed by the winds, that is by the spirits of the Devil, may have rest in its branches.

GREG; The birds lodge in its branches, when holy souls that raise themselves aloft from thoughts of earth on the wings of the virtues, breathe again from the troubles of this life in their words and comforting.

33. Another parable spoke he to them; The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

CHRYS; The same thing the Lord sets forth in this parable of the leaven; as much as to say to His disciples, As leaven changes into its own kind much wheat flour, so shall you change the whole world. Note here the wisdom of the Savior; He first brings instances from nature proving that as the one is possible so is the other. And He says not simply 'put,' but hid; as much as to say, So you, when you shall be cast down by your enemies, then you shall overcome them. And so leaven is kneaded in, without being destroyed, but gradually changes all things into its own nature; so shall it come to pass with your preaching. Fear you not then because I said that many tribulations shall come upon you, for so shall you shine forth, and shall overcome them all. He says, three measures, to signify a great abundance; that definite number standing for an indefinite quantity.

JEROME; The 'satum' is a kind of measure in use in Palestine containing one modius and a half.

AUG; Or, the leaven signifies love, because it causes activity and fermentation; by the woman He means wisdom. By the three measures He intends either those three things in man, with the whole heart, with the whole soul, with the whole mind; or the three degrees of fruitfulness, the hundred-fold, the sixty-fold, the thirty-fold; or those three kinds of men, Noah, Daniel, and Job.

RABAN; He says, Until the whole was leavened, because that love implanted in our mind ought to grow until it changes the whole soul into its own perfection; which is begun here, but is completed hereafter.

JEROME; Or otherwise, the woman who takes the leaven and hides it, seems to me to be the Apostolic preaching, or the Church gathered out of diverse nations. She takes the leaven, that is, the understanding of the Scriptures, and hides it in three measures of meal, that the three, spirit, soul,, and body, may be brought into one, and may not differ among themselves. Or otherwise. we read in Plato that there are three parts in the soul - reason, anger, and desire - so we also if we have received the evangelic leaven of Holy Scripture, may possess in our reason prudence, in our anger hatred against vice, in our desire love of the virtues, and this will all come to pass by the Evangelic teaching which our mother Church has held out to us. I will further mention an interpretation of some; that the woman is the Church, who has mingled the faith of man in three measures of meal, namely, belief in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; which when it has fermented into one lump, brings us not to a threefold God, but to the knowledge of one Divinity. This is a pious interpretation; but parables and doubtful solutions of dark things can never bestow authority on dogmas.

HILARY; Or otherwise, the Lord compares Himself to leaven; for leaven is produced from meal, and communicates the power that it has received to heap of its own kind. The woman, that is the Synagogue, taking this leaven hides it, that is by the sentence of death; but it working in the three measures of meal, that is equally in the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospels, makes all one; so that what the Law ordains, the Prophets announce, that is fulfilled in the developments of the Gospels. But many, as I remember, have thought that the three measures refer to the calling of the three nations, out of Shem, Ham, and Japhet. But I hardly think that the reason of the thing will allow this interpretation; for though these three nations have indeed been called, yet in them Christ is shown and not hidden, and in so great a multitude of unbelievers the whole cannot be said to be leavened.

34. All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.
35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

CHRYS; After the foregoing parables, that none might think that Christ was bringing forward anything new, the Evangelist quotes the Prophet, foretelling even this His manner of preaching: Mark's words are, And with many such parables He spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it (Mark 4:33). So marvel not that, in speaking of the kingdom, He uses the similitudes of a seed, and of leaven) for He was discoursing to common men, and who needed to be led forward by such aids.

REMIG; The Greek word 'Parable,' is rendered in Latin 'Similitude,' by which truth is explained; and an image or representation of the reality is set forth.

JEROME; Yet He spoke not in parables to the disciples, but to the multitude; and even to this day the multitude hears in parables; and therefore it is said, And without a parable He did not speak to them.

CHRYS; For though He had spoken many things not in parables, when not speaking before the multitudes, yet at this time He spoke nothing without a parable.

AUG; Or, this is said, not that He uttered nothing in plain words; but that He concluded no one discourse without introducing a parable in the course of it, though the chief part of the discourse might consist of matter not figurative. And we may indeed find discourses of His parabolic throughout, but none direct throughout. And by a complete discourse, I mean, the whole of what He says on any topic that may be brought before Him by circumstances, before He leaves it and passes to a new subject. For sometimes one Evangelist connects what another gives as spoken at different times; the writer having in such a case followed not the order of events, but the order of connection in his own memory.

The reason why He spoke in parables the Evangelist subjoins, saying, That it might be fulfilled that was spoken by the Prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.

JEROME; This passage is taken from the seventy-seventh Psalm. I have seen copies which read, 'by Esaias the Prophet,' instead of what we have adopted, and what the common text has by the Prophet?

REMIG; From which reading Porphyry took an objection to the believers; Such was your Evangelist's ignorance, that he imputed to Isaiah what is indeed found in the Psalms.

JEROME; But because the text was not found in Isaiah, his name was, I suppose, therefore erased by such as had observed that. But it seems to me that it was first written thus, 'As was written by Asaph the Prophet, saying'; for the seventy-seventh Psalm out of which this text is taken is ascribed to Asaph the Prophet; and that the copyist not understanding Asaph, and imputing it to error in the transcription, substituted the better known name Isaiah. For it should be known that not David only, but those others also whose names are set before the Psalms, and hymns and songs of God, are to be considered prophets, namely, Asaph, Idithum, and Heman the Esraite, and the rest who are named in Scripture. And so that which is spoken in the Lord's person, I will open my mouth in parables, if considered attentively, will be found to be a description of the departure of Israel out of Egypt, and a relation of all the wonders contained in the history of Exodus. By which we learn, that all that is there written may be taken in a figurative way, and contains hidden sacraments; for this what the Savior is there made to preface by the words, I will open my mouth in parables.

GLOSS; As though He had said, I who spoke before by the Prophets, now in My own person will open My mouth in parables, and will bring forth out of My secret store mysteries which have been hidden ever since the foundation of the world.

36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came to him saying, Declare to us the parable of the tares of the field.
37. He answered and said to them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world.
41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.

CHRYS; The Lord had spoken to the multitude in parable that He might induce them to ask Him of their meaning yet, though He had spoken so many things in parables no man had yet asked Him anything, and therefore He sends them away; Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house. None of the Scribes followed Him here, from which it is clear that they followed Him for no other purpose than that they might catch Him in His discourse.

JEROME; The Lord sends away the multitude, and enters the house that His disciples might come to Him and ask Him privately of those things which the people neither deserved to hear, nor were able.

RABAN; Figuratively; Having sent away the multitude of unquiet Jews, He enters the Church of the Gentiles, and there expounds to believers heavenly sacraments, whence it follows, And his disciples came to him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.

CHRYS; Before, though desirous to learn, they had feared to ask; but now they ask freely and confidently because they had heard, To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven; and therefore they ask when alone, not envying the multitude to whom it was not so given. They pass over the parables of the leaven and the mustard seed as plain; and ask concerning the parable of the tares, which has some agreement with the foregoing parable concerning the seed, and shows somewhat more than that. And accordingly the Lord expounds it to them, as it follows, He answered and said to them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man.

REMIG. The Lord styles Himself the Son of Man, that in that title He might set an example of humility; or perhaps because it was to come to pass that certain heretics would deny Him to be really man; or that through belief in His Humanity we might ascend to knowledge of His Divinity.

CHRYS; The field is the world. Seeing it is He that sows His own field, it is plain that this present world is His. It follows, The good seed are the children of the kingdom.

REMIG; That is, the saints, and elect men, who are counted as sons.

AUG; The tares the Lord expounds to mean, not as Manichaeus interprets, certain spurious parts inserted among the true Scriptures, but all the children of the Evil one, that is, the imitators of the fraud of the Devil. As it follows, The tares are the children of the evil one, by whom He would have us understand all the wicked and impious.

ID; For all weeds among corn are called tares. It follows, The enemy who sowed this is the Devil.

CHRYS; For this is part of the wiles of the Devil, to be ever mixing up truth with error. The harvest is the end of the world. In another place He says, speaking of the Samaritans, Lift up your eyes, and consider the fields that they are already white for the harvest; and again, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few, in which words He speaks of the harvest as being already present. How then does He here speak of it as something yet to come? Because He has used the figure of the harvest in two significations, as He says there that it is one that sows, and another that reaps; but here it is the same who both sows and reaps indeed there He brings forward the Prophets, not to distinguish them from Himself, but from the Apostles, for Christ Himself by His Prophets sowed among the Jews and Samaritans. The figure of harvest is thus applied to two different things. Speaking of first conviction and turning to the faith, He calls that the harvest, as that in which the whole is accomplished; but when He inquires into the fruits ensuing upon the hearing the word of God, then He calls the end of the world the harvest, as here.

REMIG; By the harvest is denoted the day of judgment, in which the good are to he separated from the evil; which will be done by the ministry of Angels, as it is said below, that the Son of Man shall come to judgment with His Angels. As then the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world.

The Son of man shall send forth his Angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all offenses, and them which do iniquity.

AUG; Out of that kingdom in which are no offenses? The kingdom then is His kingdom which is here, namely, the Church.

ID; That the tares are first separated, signifies that by tribulation the wicked shall be separated from the righteous; and this is understood to be performed by good Angels, because the good can discharge duties of punishment with a good spirit, as a judge, or as the Law, but the wicked cannot fulfill offices of mercy.

CHRYS; Or we may understand it of the kingdom of the heavenly Church; and then there will be held out here a two-fold punishment; first that they fall from glory as that is said, And they shall gather out of his kingdom all offenses, to the end, that no offenses should be seen in His kingdom; and then that they burned. And they shall cast them into a furnace of fire.

JEROME; The offenses are to be referred to the tares.

GLOSS; The offenses, and, them that do iniquity, are to be distinguished as heretics and schismatics; the offenses referring to heretics; while by them that do iniquity are to be understood Schismatics. Otherwise; By offenses may be understood those that give their neighbor an occasion of falling, by those that do iniquity all other sinners.

RABAN; Observe, He says, Those that do iniquity, not, those who have done; because not they who have turned to penitence, but they only that abide in their sins are to be delivered to eternal torments.

CHRYS; Behold the unspeakable love of God towards men! He is ready to show mercy, slow to punish; when He sows, He sows Himself; when He punishes, He punishes by others, sending His Angels to that. It follows, There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

REMIG; In these words is shown the reality of the resurrection of the body; and further, the twofold pains of hell, extreme heat, and extreme cold. And as the offenses are referred to the tares, so the righteous are reckoned among the children of the kingdom; concerning whom it follows, Then the righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. For in the present world the light of the saints shines before men, but after the consummation of all things, the righteous themselves shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

CHRYS; Not that they shall not shine with higher brightness, but because we know no degree of brightness that surpasses that of the sun, therefore He uses an example adapted to our understanding.

REMIG; That He says, Then shall they shine, implies that they now shine for an example to others, but they shall then shine as the sun to the praise of God. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

RABAN; That is, Let him understand who has understanding, because all these things are to be understood mystically, and not literally.

Catena Aurea Matthew 13
28 posted on 07/20/2014 10:10:05 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Paradise

Guisto de' Menabuoi

1375-76
Fresco
Baptistry, Padua

29 posted on 07/20/2014 10:13:34 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All

Day 219 - What are the "Five Precepts of the Church"? // What is the purpose of the precepts of the Church?

What are the "Five Precepts of the Church"?

(1) You shall attend Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation and abstain from work or activities that offend against the character of the day. (2) You shall receive the sacrament of Penance at least once a year. (3) You shall receive the Eucharist at least during the Easter season. (4) You shall observe the prescribed seasons of fasting and days of abstinence (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). (5) You shall contribute to the material support of the Church.


What is the purpose of the precepts of the Church, and how binding are they?

The "Five Precepts of the Church" with their minimum requirements are supposed to remind us that one cannot be a Christian without making a moral effort, without participating personally in the sacramental life of the Church, and without union with her in solidarity. They are obligatory for every Catholic Christian. (YOUCAT questions 345-346)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (2041-2043) and other references here.


30 posted on 07/20/2014 3:11:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Part 3: Life in Christ (1691 - 2557)

Section 1: Man's Vocation — Life in the Spirit (1699 - 2051)

Chapter 3: God's Salvation: Law and Grace (1949 - 2051)

Article 3: The Church, Mother and Teacher (2030 - 2051)

II. THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH

2041

The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

1389
1389
1457
2180
(all)

2042

The first precept ("You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor") requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82

The second precept ("You shall confess your sins at least once a year") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness.83

The third precept ("You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84

82.

Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, cann. 881 § 1, § 2, § 4.

83.

Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719.

84.

Cf. CIC, can. 920; CCEO, cann. 708; 881 § 3.

1351
1387
1438
2177
(all)

2043

The fourth precept ("You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.85

The fifth precept ("You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church") means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.86

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities.87

85.

Cf. CIC, cann. 1249-1251; CCEO, can. 882.

86.

Cf. CIC, can. 222; CCEO can. 25; Furthermore, episcopal conferences can establish other ecclesiastical precepts for their own territories (Cf. CIC, can. 455).

87.

Cf. CIC, can. 222.


31 posted on 07/20/2014 3:50:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:July 20, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Show favor, O Lord, to your servants and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Best-Ever Meat Loaf

ACTIVITIES

o    Security of Faith within the Home

PRAYERS

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Ordinary Time (2nd Plan)

o    Litany of the Saints

o    Prayer for Troops

o    Prayer for Peace

·         Ordinary Time: July 20th

·         Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

"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 who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear." (Matt 13:40-43)

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Optional Memorial of St. Apollinaris, bishop and martyr, is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 where the author reminds us that the kind of judgment we receive depends not on the scales of godless justice, but instead on the mercy and love of God for those who strive to live life in response to His love. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin

The second reading is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:26-27. The theme is the activity of the Spirit in helping us in our weakness to pray as we ought, for it is the Spirit who makes intercession for us and intercedes for us before God. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin

The Gospel is from St. Matthew 13:24-43. Today's parable is Christ's answer to the question so frequently asked: "Why does God permit evil to triumph so often in this world, why are the wicked allowed to prosper?" The triumph of the wicked is short-lived, the reward of the Christian who suffers from their wickedness is everlasting. The very wickedness and injustices of evil-doers are one of the ways that God uses to perfect his elect. It is only on a battlefield that a true soldier can be proved.

In the parable, the weed does not destroy the wheat. It only makes it more difficult for the wheat to grow to maturity. So it is with the Christian. No one can take his faith from him, but living up to it is made more difficult by the evil influence and bad example of sinners. If some succumb to this evil influence and give up the practice of their faith, the fault is theirs. God can force no man to serve him.

The patience of the farmer in letting the weed grow on until harvest time, exemplifies the infinite mercy of God toward sinners. The weed could not change its nature, but the sinner can change his ways and God gives him every chance and every help to do this, up to his last moment of life. No sinner will be excluded from heaven because of the sins he committed but because he did not repent of these sins while he had the opportunity.

We must learn a double lesson of patience from this parable. First, to be patient with those who make our spiritual progress more difficult for us—they are actually helping us to be better Christians if we bear with patience the injuries they inflict on us. Second, we must try to imitate the patience God shows in his dealings with sinners. While we must not approve of their evil deeds, or their sins, we must still look on them as our brothers and do all in our power to put them back on the right road to heaven. We can do this by good example, and by fervent prayer for their conversion. This is not easy for human nature, but we can be certain that God will give us the necessary grace and strength to subdue our natural weakness and aversion, if we try to act with charity and true brotherly interest toward our erring fellowmen.

By acting thus, we will not only be helping a weak brother on the rugged road to heaven, we will also be making doubly sure of our own arrival there, for God will never be outdone in generosity.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


32 posted on 07/20/2014 4:05:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Romans 8:26-27

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. (Romans 8:26)

If you remember nothing else about St. Paul, remember this: he loved to talk about the Holy Spirit! For just one example, take a look at chapter eight of his Letter to the Romans, and you’ll see:

The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

The Spirit helps us fulfill the just requirements of the law. (8:4)

The Spirit gives us life and peace. (8:6)

God will raise us up from the dead by the Spirit. (8:11)

The Spirit helps us put to death the misdeeds of the body. (8:13)

The Spirit convinces us that we are children of God. (8:14)

The Spirit is the foretaste of our full redemption. (8:23)

Paul goes even further in today’s reading. He tells us that beyond all the points he has made so far, beyond the theology that he has outlined in this chapter, the Holy Spirit is also an intimate and compassionate friend. The Spirit knows you. He loves you. Because he is God, he knows better than anyone how to help you.

So always be encouraged when you feel at a loss or when difficulties come your way. Remember that the Spirit of God makes intercession for you. Remember that your heavenly Father hears and answers the prayers of the Holy Spirit. And always keep this in mind: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:26-31).

“Thank you, Father, for the gift of your Holy Spirit. I welcome your Spirit into my life today. Help me to yield to his work in my heart.”

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16; Matthew 13:24-43

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Wisdom 12:13,16-19; Psalm 86:5-6,9-10,15-16; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43)

1. In the first reading, we hear that “those who are just must be kind”. What do these words mean to you? How does the cross reflect God’s justice and kindness toward you? In what way is there a conflict between justice and kindness in your life?

2. In the responsorial psalm, we read that God is “forgiving” and “merciful”. We know that God forgives us when we confess our sins? How ready are you to forgive those who have wronged you? Why do you think we have a tendency to demand justice from God for others and but mercy for ourselves? Why is this contrary to the Gospel?

3. In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul tells us that the “Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.” How often during the day do you turn to the Holy Spirit, present in each baptized Catholic, to seek help and guidance? What steps can you take to change that?

4. In the Gospel, we see that the smallest of actions (e.g., the sowing of a “mustard seed” and the mixing of “yeast” with flour) can have a very large effect. What small steps do you think the Lord is asking you to take in your life that could have a major impact?

5. The meditation tells us that in addition to the many ways the Holy Spirit works in our lives, he is “also an intimate and compassionate friend.” What do these words mean to you? In what ways have you experienced the Holy Spirit as “an intimate and compassionate friend”?

6. Take some time now to pray for the grace to fully yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Use the prayer at the end of the mediation as the starting point.


33 posted on 07/20/2014 4:20:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

WE MUST REFRAIN FROM DISMISSING OTHERS

(A biblical reflection on the 16th Ordinary Sunday, 20 July 2014)

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-30 (long version: Matthew 13:24-43)

First Reading: Wisdom 12:13,16-19; Psalms: Psalm 86:5-6,9-10,15-16; Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27

PERUMPAMAAN GANDUM DAN ILALANG MAT 13 24-43

The Scripture Text
Another parable He put before them, saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds? He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30 RSV)

How do you treat other people when they fall short of your expectations? Do you find yourself turning against them – maybe in your mind and heart, if not outwardly? It’s a tempting reaction but not one that Jesus recommended. In fact, His parable of the weeds among the wheat tells us not to write anyone off as hopeless. Just as the householder refrained from having the weeds pulled up for fear of uprooting the wheat (Matthew 13:29), we must refrain from dismissing others, in effect throwing out the “wheat” in their lives along with whatever we perceive the “weeds” to be.

Who are the “weedy” ones in your life – those you have given up on, those you don’t treat so well because they have pulled away from God? Look closely at your list and ask yourself whether perhaps your judgments might be contributing in some way to their bondage. Is it possible that you have a beam in your eye, something that prevents you from seeing the beauty and promise – the wheat among the weeds – within them? Even in their sin, God sees their potential and gives them opportunities to realize it through the power of His Son. He invites you to take on this attitude, too.

Today at Mass, take some time to reflect on God’ invitation to patience. Let the readings show you God’s heart and help you embrace that heart for yourself: “Although You are sovereign in strength, You judge with mildness, and with great forbearance You govern us. … You have taught Your people that the righteous must be kind” (Wisdom 12:18-19). “The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26). Having experienced God’s mercy in your own life – and who hasn’t? – you can be patient with the imperfections of others, with the Spirit’s help. And amazingly, the more you learn to see people through the eyes of Jesus, the more you will draw them to Him. They will change. So will you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for having written some people off as beyond help. Knowing Your love and patience toward me, I am compelled to pray that every “hopeless case” will make it into Your Kingdom. I pray for an abundant harvest of the finest wheat. Amen.

34 posted on 07/20/2014 4:32:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for July 20, 2014:

“The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness.” (Rom 8:26) When a difficult decision looms, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. It can be as simple as praying, “Come, Holy Spirit!”

35 posted on 07/20/2014 4:40:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Scripture  Study  Sixteenth

Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A 

Opening prayer  

Wisdom 12:13,16-19           

(Ps 86:5-6,9-10,15-16)          

Romans 8:26-27            

Matthew 13:24-43    

 

Overview of the Gospel:

 

• Last Sunday, we were introduced to Matthew 13 as a chapter of parables. This week we have three more parables, all with “growth” as a theme.

• Jesus tells another parable about a “sower”, this time one who has an enemy who secretly sows his field with weeds. This certain type of weed (called “tares” or “darnel” in some translations) contained a fungus that was poisonous to people and animals, causing severe nausea. This was sometimes done for revenge or maliciousness and the Romans had severe penalties to those caught committing such an act. These weeds look just like wheat in the early stages of growth thus making them almost impossible to remove without ruining the wheat. 

• The owner of the field decides to let the wheat and the tares grow side by side until the harvest. In biblical terms, “the harvest” is often associated with a day of God’s judgment (Jeremiah 51:33; Joel 4:13; Hosea 6:11; Revelation 14:14-20). 

Questions:

• What does the 1st Reading teach us about God’s might, justice and mercy? How is the way that God acts (or does not act) different from the way that we might act? What, according to the writer of the Book of Wisdom, should this teach us about God and ourselves?

• In our journey to becoming more like God, from Whom do we receive assistance? What kind of assistance does he give us? 

• In the parable of the weeds (verses 24-30 and verses 36-40), who is the sower? What does the wheat represent? The weeds? The enemy? The harvest? • How does this parable relate to Matthew 7:15-20?

• Why does this parable so puzzle the disciples? Why is patience and tolerance toward unbelievers difficult for them (and for us)?

• In the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast (verses 31-33), what aspects of Jesus’ ministry seem small? What is the promise if the small seed is sown? • How does the kingdom of heaven become evident to others? • Where (in your life or in your parish) have you seen faith like “yeast” or a “mustard seed” have a great impact? Where is the harvest field God has placed you in? • What accountability are you now feeling for yourself? For others? To God? What are you “hearing” God call you to do as a result? 

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 827, 2284—2287, 764 

Closing prayer 

 

Jesus is the teacher of holiness. I go to him because I want him to teach me how to become a saint. Of what use to me is all I learn in school if I do not become holy? -St. Francis de Sales


36 posted on 07/20/2014 6:10:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Weeds Among the Wheat

Pastor’s Column

16th Sunday Ordinary Time

July 20, 2014

 

One of the biggest challenges to our faith is always the question, why is evil tolerated by God in the world? The parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat (Matthew 13:24-33) offers us a tremendous amount of insight as to why some people seem to get away with so much evil while God appears to look in the other direction.

Like the weeds and the wheat, we are all at present growing together in the world, but this will not always be so. There is a certain type of wheat-like plant called bearded darnel which looks so much like wheat that in its early stages an untrained eye can’t readily tell the difference between the weed and genuine wheat. This plant has adopted these characteristics to give it a better survival rate. By the time a farmer realizes what kind of plant this is, the roots would have so intertwined themselves with the good plants that to pull up the weeds would necessarily entail destroying the wheat as well. This is why the farmer in our parable decides to let them both grow together till harvest time.

Sowing these kinds of weeds in a field was common among enemies at the time of Christ (the Romans actually had laws against it), so people would’ve been very familiar with this story. To top it all off, the weed is mildly poisonous!

The Lord presently appears to tolerate those who do evil and cause others to do so (the weeds) for the sake of those who love him (the wheat). It is also his desire and will that they be given time to repent; but in the end, there will be a sorting-out by the angels and the weeds will be removed.

It can appear at first glance that the present state of affairs in the world is normal, when in fact this situation is quite temporary. At present we must live in a world where we cannot always readily distinguish the good from evil-doers, who often seem to be getting away with it. But those who habitually live evil lives do not realize that God is watching and waiting to act, holding the present world in existence for the sake of those who love him.

Therefore, the role of Christians and those who genuinely seek God is very great. God allows those who do evil to live side-by-side in this life with the good in the hope that the evil-doers (the “weeds” of our parable) will repent and become wheat. As long as we live on earth, it is not too late! How do we recognize the evil in the world and in ourselves from the good? The good will bear fruit, while evil ultimately is poisonous.

In the meantime, we live in a temporary situation where we are called to turn from evil but not judge others, which is God’s job. The parable is both a warning and a comfort: God tolerates evil for the sake of the good, but only for a little while. The final end of those who choose evil and those who choose the good could not be more different.

 

                                    Father Gary


37 posted on 07/20/2014 6:31:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Of Wheat and Weeds: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 07.18.14 |

Readings:
Wisdom 12:13,16-19  
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Romans 8:26-27  
Matthew 13:24-43

God is always teaching His people, we hear in today’s First Reading.

And what does He want us to know? That He has care for all of us, that though He is a God of justice, even those who defy and disbelieve Him may hope for His mercy if they turn to Him in repentance.

This divine teaching continues in the three parables that Jesus tells in the Gospel today. Each describes the emergence of the kingdom of God from the seeds sown by His works and preaching. The kingdom’s growth is hidden - like the working of yeast in bread; it’s improbable, unexpected—as in the way the tall mustard tree grows from the smallest of seeds.

Again this week’s readings sound a note of questioning: Why does God permit the evil to grow alongside the good? Why does He permit some to reject the Word of His kingdom?

Because, as we sing in today’s Psalm, God is slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He is just, Jesus assures us - evildoers and those who cause others to sin will be thrown into the fiery furnace at the end of the age. But by His patience, God is teaching us—that above all He desires repentance, and the gathering of all nations to worship Him and to glorify His name.

Even though we don’t know how to pray as we ought, the Spirit will intercede for us, Paul promises in today’s Epistle. But first we must turn and call upon Him, we must commit ourselves to letting the good seed of His Word bear fruit in our lives.

So we should not be deceived or lose heart when we see weeds among the wheat, truth and holiness mixed with error, injustice and sin.

For now, He makes His sun rise on the good and the bad (see Matthew 5:45). But the harvest draws near. Let’s work that we might be numbered among the righteous children—who will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father.


38 posted on 07/20/2014 6:44:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Look at this Sunday: Good, Bad and Ugly

 

 

"Where have the weeds come from?"

 

Sunday Word: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072014.cfm


What purpose do weeds serve?  Well, I suppose there are some but don't we do all we can to eliminate them from our gardens, our sidewalks, our flowers and orchards, our farms.  Tons of money is spent on developing fertilizers and ways to prevent weeds from growing and chocking off important energy and life from more desirable plants.

Yet, in our Gospel this Sunday (below) Jesus teaches in a parable: ". . . His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' he replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.  Let them grow together until harvest . . ."  Hmm, not the most attractive garden so, as always, this parable has a deeper spiritual meaning.  We learn it is a reference to the end harvest - the ultimate time when Christ will return and final justice will be meted out. 

In the meantime, we have a constant chance for God's mercy to touch our lives and hearts and turn our weeds into healthy wheat. This call to conversion is the essence of the Christian Gospel.  The truth is that the good, the bad, and the ugly always live together but hopefully those among the good can influence through word and deed, and the grace of God, to turn away from evil and embrace God's goodness and truth.  Look at the Church or any human organization and we find a host of players. 

Where do I fit?  More to come . . .

Mt 13: 24 - 30

 

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”


39 posted on 07/20/2014 6:51:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Insight Scoop

Weeds, Seeds, and the Kingdom of Heaven

"Wheat Field" (1888) by Vincent van Gogh (Wikiart.org)

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, July 20, 2014 | Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Wis 12:13, 16-19
• Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
• Rom 8:26-27
• Mt 13:24-43

What is the Kingdom of God? How does it come about? And how will it grow?

These are some of the questions addressed in the parables of Jesus, including the seven parables found in Matthew 13. As we saw last week, these parables are not simply stories with a moral, nor are they theological tracts or even pithy catechetical lessons. Parables are not, writes Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis in Fire of Mercy, Heart of the World (Ignatius Press, 2003), “a test of human intelligence that functions like riddles. Rather they are verbal strategies of grace that test the willingness of the human heart to surrender to, and be enfolded by, the always surprising generosity of Wisdom.”

Leiva-Merikakis describes a parable, strikingly, as “a coded letter left by a Lover” (p 192). He points out that the original Greek renditions of the parables are imbued with a beautiful musicality, adding even more meaning to Jesus’ exhortation: “He who has ears, let him hear” (Mt 13:9). God’s love for mankind is such that the eternal Word uses words of beauty to redeem our souls and transform our hearts.

Today’s Gospel reading contains three of the seven parables: the parables of the weeds among the wheat, the mustard seed, and the yeast (or leaven). Like the parable of the sower and seeds heard last week, all three express something about the growth of the Kingdom and how God’s word brings about that mysterious—and often unseen—growth.

Like the parable of the sower and the seeds, the parable of the weeds among the wheat has an agricultural setting. However, the parable is unique to Matthew’s Gospel and does not appear in the other Gospels. The focus is less on the response of the soil to the sower’s seeds and more on the mystery of evil and how it grows alongside what the Son of Man has planted in the field of the world. In his explanation of the parable to the disciples, Jesus draws a stark contrast between the children of the kingdom and the children of the evil one. Those who hear the word of God and reject it are the children of Satan. Having been offered light, they choose darkness (cf., Jn 1:9-11; 3:19-20).

But, as Saint Augustine noted, what is currently wheat can become a weed, and what is a weed can still become wheat “and no one knows what they will be tomorrow.” It is right to lament the sins committed by sons and daughters of the Church. But we shouldn’t be blind to our own weaknesses, nor to the ravenous appetite of the devil, who “is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). Mindful of our failings, as the Apostle Paul exhorts the Romans in today’s epistle, we must trust in the Holy Spirit, who “comes to the aid of our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought.”

The parable of the mustard seed, although short, is memorable in its imagery, especially in the comparison between the largeness of the bush (growing to ten feet in height) and the smallness of the seed. Its central meaning is that the works of God often begin in small ways and are usually ignored or missed by the world. The temptation for the children of the Kingdom is to become impatient, forgetting that this tree has now been growing for thousands of years, and will continue to grow until the end of time.

Even shorter is the parable of the yeast, or leaven. From what seems to be of little consequence comes a super abundance, a theme echoing the reality of the Incarnation and the stunning truth of the empty tomb. It is Christ, the lover of mankind, who is the leaven. And it is through his death and Resurrection and by his Body and Blood that we are leavened—transformed and transferred into the always growing kingdom of the Son (Col 1:13).

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the July 20, 2008, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


40 posted on 07/20/2014 6:56:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Thy Kingdom Come!
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
July 20, 2014, 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 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 back 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, open my heart to your word.

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. Our lives need to be constructive more than anything else, meaning we need to be focused more on what Christ is sowing in our hearts than on the weeds we’re striving to uproot (though that is important). A garden is for growing plants, not weeds. Jesus wants us to appreciate that since he is God, he is infinite, and that 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. His word is a living, saving word that refashions us in his likeness. Am I hungry for his word and receptive to Him, who is the Word of God?

3. The Birds of the Air Make Nests in its Branches: Christ intends the seed he has planted in our hearts to grow into a tall, healthy tree, where birds of the air find shelter. He wants us to be sowers of his heavenly seed. He wants us to be the means for his word to spread to others. 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 can I 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 God.


41 posted on 07/20/2014 7:00:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

True Philanthropy

July 20, 2014
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072014.cfm

If God were cruel, we would be in a tough spot. Sometimes people lose faith in God because they think he is and that’s not a pleasant notion. This Sunday’s reading from the Book of Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 reflects on God’s actions in history and shows us that even when he is most fiercely just, he is still the ­God of mercy.

Context

Wisdom 12 briefly retells the story of God’s judgment on the Canaanites. It reflects on their idolatrous and “detestable practices” (12:4), which included child sacrifice. God decided to judge Canaan and eliminate its religion from the Promised Land, but instead of inflicting punishment right away, God waits. He gives even the most disastrously corrupt culture “a chance to repent” (12:10).

Does Might Make Right?

One line in Wisdom 12:16 could give us the wrong impression, that might makes right. The line reads: “For your might is the source of justice” (Wis 12:16 NAB). It would be easy to think that simply because God has all the power then whatever he wants is “just,” that he’s basically a big bully. But that’s not what Wisdom is trying to convey. Rather, his power, his strength is the origin, the beginning, the source of all justice, all righteousness, all goodness. God’s power and his goodness accord so well with one another, that they are held together in who he is. We can even say that “God is justice,” and “God is strength.” His will is always in accord with justice.

Justice and Mercy

One would not expect a reflection on the destruction of the Canaanites to highlight God’s mercy, but that’s exactly what Wisdom does. Justice is the strong note when it comes to judgment, but this text shows to us that the emphasis in God’s relation with human beings is always on mercy. Wisdom describes him as “lenient” and judging with “clemency.” God waits some four hundred years before bringing judgment on the Canaanites (Gen 15:16), allowing time for repentance. By his actions, God teaches us how he wants us to act toward others.

God’s Kind of Teaching

The best kind of teachers always lead by example. And in the case of God’s mercy and justice toward the Canaanites, he is no different. The very power of God actually makes him merciful since he does not need to shore up his self-confidence with random acts of showing off, but only to set in order the minds of men who don’t believe in his power (12:17). God teaches us about his mercy by what he does: “And you taught your people, by these deeds” (12:19). Surprisingly, the lesson of his deeds is a paradox: “that those who are just must be kind.” We often think of justice and mercy as opposites, but God’s actions show that they really do go together.

Man-kind

“Kindness” sounds like a wimpy virtue, like “niceness” or “goody-two-shoe-ness.” The Greek word which underlies “kind” in our translation is philanthropos. That’s an easy one if you remember Philadelphia or anthropology, or better yet, philanthropy. Philanthropos is “love of man” or “love of mankind.” God’s deeds of justice and mercy reveal that if we are to be just, we must love mankind. So mercy, love, and kindness, shape the actions of the righteous, not just rule-following.

It is too easy for us to put up barriers to others, to adopt strict rules, to operate an economy of exclusion and shut out those whose sinfulness is all too visible. But Jesus reminds that we are not the judges (Matt 7:1). He’s the only judge and his example of clemency, lenience, and mercy, show us that we are to similarly keep the door open, reach out, love others, forgive them their faults (and be cognizant of our own). Personal righteousness or justice is about loving others like God does. While philanthropy includes giving money, the true philanthropist not only gives money, but actually loves people.


42 posted on 07/20/2014 7:41:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: All

Scripture Speaks: Kingdom of Heaven

 

Today, Jesus uses parables to teach about the kingdom of heaven. What do all three of them have in common?

Gospel (Read Mt 13:24-43)

In this chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus uses parables to teach the large crowd gathered to hear Him at the seashore. In the first one, He says, “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.” However, during the cover of night, “while everyone was asleep,” an enemy came and sowed weeds all through his field. The weed, sometimes called “darnel,” looks very much like wheat in its early growth. If it gets ground up later with the wheat and made into flour, it can cause sickness. In Jesus’ day, personal vengeance sometimes took the form of sowing this weed in an enemy’s wheat field, a punishable crime in Roman law. In the parable, the slaves ask the landowner if they should pull up the weeds, but they are told, “No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.” The plants will have to grow together until harvest time. By then, the weed will be easily recognizable; no wheat will be pulled up by mistake.

In the explanation He later gives the disciples, Jesus explains that the Sower is Jesus, the field is the world, and the seeds are either children of the kingdom or children of the evil one. In this, He makes it clear that goodness and wickedness will exist, side-by-side, until the end of time, when Jesus comes with His angels to execute justice. We might wonder why it will take so long to rid the world of evil. This question especially nags at us when we see evil in the Church, as well as the good. How we itch to clean up the field, as the servants in the parable did. The landowner cautions against this expediency, however, because he knows that sometimes it is hard to distinguish the good seed from the bad in its early growth. The danger of uprooting the wrong growth in a freshly sown field is high. Letting time lapse, waiting for the mature growth that signals harvest time, will avoid this danger. Because this parable teaches us about the kingdom of heaven, think about the mercy of God this story represents. How many of us have started out in life looking more like bad seed than good? Repentance and conversion made all the difference. Likewise, how many have started out looking like good seed but never bore good fruit? It takes a long time to know who we are. The great gift of time God gives to the world is to allow as many of us as possible an opportunity to be mature wheat. At St. Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slow about His promise [to return] as some count slowness, but He is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). In the meantime, we should not be shocked by the presence of evil in the world. We are assured of a future just judgment on it. Our work now is to pray and work for repentance and conversion, which leads us to the other two parables.

Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven as being like a mustard seed, tiny as it goes into the ground, but, in time, becoming “the largest of plants.” Here He gives us a picture of the Church, inauspicious at the beginning (only Twleve men) but growing to become universal. His reference to “birds of the sky” coming to rest in the mustard plant’s branches is not just nature talk. In the Old Testament, large empires, including Israel, were often described as great trees (Ezek 31:1-13; 17:22-24; Dan 4:12). There, “birds” represented the Gentiles. So, Jesus is describing a Church that will need time to grow from a coterie of Jewish disciples into a Church that would someday be home to Gentiles, as well as Jews, all over the world.

Finally, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to the yeast a woman uses in baking bread. It is small and hidden as it goes into the dough, but, in time, it has an effect on the whole batch, causing it to greatly increase in size and making it ready to bake. This helps us understand how the work of the Church in the salvation of the world is often hidden, unseen. Do we have the patience to wait for its ultimate effect?

We can’t miss the emphasis in these parables on time and on the danger of making judgments based on appearance, before the proper amount of time has passed. What a wonderful corrective for people like us, who live in a culture that has nearly declared war on time. Our technology has almost made an enemy out of time—fast is good, instant is better. We need to let these parables sink in and renew our minds about time, about avoiding premature judgment, about letting God work out His plan of salvation for the world in His own time. When we do this, we are better prepared to understand our other readings today.

Possible response: Lord, I confess that waiting for Your work to unfold is often hard for me. Please grant me patience.

First Reading (Read Wisdom 12:13, 16-19)

Here we have a beautiful description of why God is not in a hurry. He takes His time with His Creation, including His judgment on it, because He is kind: “…though You are the master of might, You judge with clemency, and with much lenience You govern us.” God’s perfect justice makes Him perfectly patient. As noted in St. Peter’s epistle, God’s “slowness” comes from His desire that all men repent and be saved. We see that here in this reading, too: “And You taught Your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and You gave Your children good ground for hope that You would permit repentance for their sins.” Instant judgment of others (with the battle cry of “Let’s clear the field now!”) leaves little room for the kindness and mercy of God.

Possible response: Father, help me learn from Your kindness to be kind to others, especially when I only care about being right, not kind.

Psalm (Read Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16)

It should not surprise us that our psalm response today is, “LORD, You are good and forgiving.” The psalmist extols the kindness of God and so counts on the Him “to attend to the sound of my pleading.” Interestingly, the psalmist prophetically declares, “All the nations You have made shall come and worship You, O Lord, and glorify Your Name.” This is the very picture of a Church comprising “all the nations” that Jesus gave us in the parable of the mustard seed. The psalmist shows us that God’s patience and slowness to anger should lead us to prayer for help when we really need it: “Turn toward me, and have pity on me; give Your strength to Your servant.” A merciful God is eager to do this, as we shall see in our next reading.

Possible response: The psalm is, itself, a prayerful response to all the lectionary readings. Read it again as your own response to God’s Word.

Second Reading (Read Rom 8:26-27)

Can there be, anywhere, a more powerful statement of God’s kind mercy toward His people than what St. Paul writes here? Not only can we pray to God in our time of need, as the psalmist teaches us, but St. Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit “comes to the aid of our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” The Spirit prays “for the holy ones according to God’s will.” God invites us to prayer and then, by His Spirit, enables us to pray according to His will. What a beautiful description of His tender care of the “field” of the Church! He is like the Good Farmer, looking after the welfare of every tender shoot that springs up from the good seed He has sown. No wonder God is not afraid of time. St. Paul helps us see that God Himself is bringing His harvest to maturity, working in the hidden, unseen chambers of our hearts to unleash prayers that will save the world. What a sublime subversion!

Possible response: Holy Spirit, thank You for your prayers in me, wiser than my own.


44 posted on 07/20/2014 7:47:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 4

<< Sunday, July 20, 2014 >> 16th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Romans 8:26-27

View Readings
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Matthew 13:24-43

Similar Reflections
 

"PRAYING WRONG"

 
"We do not know how to pray as we ought." —Romans 8:26
 

Many Christians have the feeling that they're praying wrong (Jas 4:3), that they're not praying as they ought. They think they're saying the wrong words or that they need to pray more or say a certain series of prayers, but they are wrong about praying wrong. They may be praying wrong, but it's not because of their words, methods, or even time commitment. We pray wrong when we pray "with a view to squandering what" we receive on our pleasures (Jas 4:3). We pray wrong not because of a faulty memory, halting speech, or confused mind, but because of a selfish heart.

Prayer is not our getting God to give us what we want. It is God getting us to give Him what He wants. The essence of the Christian life and of prayer is denying ourselves (Lk 9:23). So we can definitely pray wrong, and most Christians may pray wrong most of the time.

The solution to this problem is not learning techniques of prayer, praying prayers out of a book, or praying spontaneously. The way to stop praying wrong is to repent of selfishness, disobedience, and doing our own thing. Then even our groans will be powerful prayers pleasing to the Lord (see Rm 8:26).

 
Prayer: Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like Yours so I will "pray right."
Promise: "The saints will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom. Let everyone heed what he hears!" —Mt 13:43
Praise: "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He Who in His great mercy gave us new birth; a birth unto hope which draws its life from the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Pt 1:3).

45 posted on 07/20/2014 7:51:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
"Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants."
 
~Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

46 posted on 07/20/2014 7:53:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2014-07-20-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


47 posted on 07/27/2014 8:35:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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