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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 07-27-14, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 07-27-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 07/26/2014 8:05:08 PM PDT by Salvation

July 27, 2014

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12

The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Solomon answered:
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king
to succeed my father David;
but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”

The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130

R/ (97a) Lord, I love your commands.
I have said, O LORD, that my part
is to keep your words.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R/ Lord, I love your commands.
Let your kindness comfort me
according to your promise to your servants.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
R/ Lord, I love your commands.
For I love your command
more than gold, however fine.
For in all your precepts I go forward;
every false way I hate.
R/ Lord, I love your commands.
Wonderful are your decrees;
therefore I observe them.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R/ Lord, I love your commands.

Reading 2 Rom 8:28-30

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.

Gospel Mt 13:44-52

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

or Mt 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”



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

1 posted on 07/26/2014 8:05:09 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

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2 posted on 07/26/2014 8:09:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Kings 3:5-12

Solomon’s Request of God (Continuation)


[4] And the king (Solomon) went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the
great high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings upon that al-
tar. [5] At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God
said, “Ask what I shall give you.” [6] And Solomon said, “Thou hast shown great
and steadfast love to thy servant David my father, because he walked before thee
in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward thee; and
thou hast kept for him this great and steadfast love, and hast given him a son to
sit on his throne this day. [7] And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy
servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not
know how to go out or come in. [8] And thy servant is in the midst of thy people
whom thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for
multitude. [9] Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy peo-
ple, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy
great people?”

[10] lt pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. [11] And God said to him,
“Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches
or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern
what is right, [12] behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a
wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none
like you shall arise after you. [13] I give you also what you have not asked, both
riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.”

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

3:1-11:1:43. The reign of Solomon became idealized in the memory of Israel.
The sacred writer of 1 and 2 Kings gives him much more space than any other
king. First we are shown his wisdom (3:1-5:14), which would become proverbial
and would cause wisdom books such as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Book
of Wisdom to be attributed to him, and also poetical books such as the Song of
Songs and a collection of Psalms. He then goes on to deal with the king’s public
works programme (5:15-9:9), especially the building of the temple and its dedica-
tion, for that temple would become the center of the religious life of the people.
On these two scores Solomon became famous inside and outside Israel, as ex-
plained in 9:10-10:29. Finally, with a realism rare among historians of the time,
the writer exposes the king’s sins and failings towards the end of his reign (11:
1-40).

The reign of Solomon is depicted in these chapters in all its splendor — and all
its weakness. The splendor derives from the wisdom with which God endows
the king (3:1-5:14) and is to be found in Solomon’s great buildings (especially
the temple: 5:15-7:51), in his prayer at the dedication of the temple (8:1-9:9) and
in the booming commerce which gives Solomon great prestige and untold wealth
(9:10-10:29). The king’s weakness lies in his unfaithfulness to God, for, to please
his foreign wives, he introduces the worship of other gods into the country. There
are political weaknesses, too: cracks are appearing in the (north-south) union,
and enemies exist inside and outside the state (11:1-40).

3:1-5:14. The most important trait of Solomon is his wisdom, to which our Lord
refers in the Gospel (cf. Mt 12:45). The sacred writer shows here the source and
evidence of that wisdom: it is a gift from God, his answer to the king’s prayer
(3:12-14), and it can be seen in the way Solomon administers justice (3:16-28)
and in the way that court and kingdom are organized, that is, in the typical func-
tions of a king (4:1-24). The more he acts with wisdom, the wiser he becomes
(4:29-34).

3:2-14. The “high places” (v. 2) were altars built in open country, on the top of
some hill, and under a shady tree, where Canaanites and Israelites of this period
offered sacrifices to the divinity. From the time of King Josiah’s reform in 622 this
type of worship was expressly forbidden in case the worship of God should be-
come associated with worship of local gods, baals (cf. 2 Kings 23:4-20).

Gibeon, about 10 km. (6 miles) northwest of Jerusalem, belonged to the tribe of
Benjamin (cf. Josh 18:25) and was one of the cities given over to the Levites (cf.
Josh 21:17) in which according to Chronicles, the desert tent or tabernacle was
kept for a time (cf. 1 Chron 21:29). The fact that the Lord should speak to Solo-
mon here also means that he is confirming him as king of Israel.

Solomon’s request pleases the Lord because it is made with humility (cf. v. 7)
and because he asks not for material things but for “an understanding mind” so
as to be able to govern well (vv. 9-14). Solomon’s request is an anticipation of the
proper order which, according to Christ’s teaching, should be present in prayer
of petition: “The one Master and Lord teaches us how and in what order we ought
to pray to God for the things we want; since we indicate and express our desires
and petitions in, prayer, then we pray properly and well when the order of our peti-
tions matches the right order of desires. True charity teaches us that we ought to
dedicate ourselves and all our desires to God; God, the supreme Good, deserves
the highest form of love. And God cannot be loved from the heart, exclusively, if
his honor and glory are not valued above all other things and creatures; all good
things, those we have and those we do not possess, all things that are called
good, must be subordinated to the supreme Good from whom they derive their
goodness” (”Roman Catechism”, 4, 10, 1).

*********************************************************************************************
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 07/26/2014 8:10:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 8:28-30

Christians are Children of God (Continuation)


[28] We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him,
who are called according to his purpose. [29] For those whom he foreknew he
also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might
be the first-born among many brethren. [30] And those whom he predestined he
also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he jus-
tified he also glorified.

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

28. Awareness of God as Father helps us see all the events of our life as orche-
strated by the lovable Will of God. Our Father gives us what is best for us and
expects us to discover his paternal love in adverse as well as in favorable events.
“Notice”, St Bernard points out, “that he does not say that things suit our whims
but that they work for our good. They serve not caprice but usefulness; not plea-
sure but salvation; not what we desire but what is good for us. In that sense eve-
rything works for our good, even death itself, even sin [...]. Is it not the case that
sins do good to him who on their account becomes more humble, more fervent,
more solicitous, more on guard, more prudent?” (”De Fallacia Et Brevitate Vitae”,
6). If we have this optimistic, hopeful attitude, we will overcome every difficulty
we meet: “The whole world seems to be coming down on top of you. Whichever
way you turn you find no way out. This time, it is impossible to overcome the
difficulties.

“But, have you again forgotten that God is your Father?—all-powerful, infinitely
wise, full of mercy. He would never send you anything evil. That thing that is
worrying you is good for you, even though those earthbound eyes of yours may
not be able to see it now.

“’Omnia in bonum!’ Lord, once again and always, may your most wise Will be
done!” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way of the Cross”, IX, 4).

29. Christ is called the “first-born” for many reasons. He is “the first-born of all
creation” (Col 1:15) because he is eternally begotten and because “all things
were made through him” (Jn 1:3). He is also the new Adam and therefore the
head of the human race in the work of redemption (cf. 1 Cor 15:22, 45). He is
“the first-born from the dead” (cf. Col 1:18; Rev 1:5) and therefore is the head
of all those who have reached heaven and all who are awaiting their future resur-
rection (1 Cor 15:20, 23). Finally, he is the “first-born among many brethren” be-
cause, in the order of grace, he gives us a share in his divine sonship: by means
of habitual grace—”sanctifying” grace—we become children of God and brothers
and sisters of Jesus Christ. “For, just as God chose to communicate to others
his natural goodness, giving them a share in that goodness, so that he might
be not only good but also the author of good things; so the Son of God chose
to communicate to others a sonship like his own, so that he might be not only
a son, but the first-born of many sons” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on
Rom, ad loc.”).

This remarkable fact is what leads the Christian to imitate Christ: our divine
sonship moves us to reflect the words and gestures of his Only-begotten Son.

“Lord, help me decide to tear off, through penance, this pitiful mask I have fa-
shioned with my wretched doings.... Then, and only then, by following the path
of contemplation and atonement, will my life begin to copy faithfully the features
of your life. We will find ourselves becoming more and more like you.

“We will be other Christs, Christ himself, ‘ipse Christus’” (St. J. Escriva, “The
Way of the Cross”, VI).

*********************************************************************************************
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 07/26/2014 8:11:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 13:44-52

The Hidden Treasure; The Pearl


(Jesus said to His disciples,) [44] “The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hid-
den in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and
sells all that he has and buys that field.

[45] “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
[46] who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and
bought it.

The Net


[47] “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea
and gathered fish of every kind; [48] when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat
down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. [49] So it will be
at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the
righteous, [50] and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and
gnash their teeth.

[51] “Have you understood all this?” They said to Him, “Yes.” [52] And He said
to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the Kingdom of Heaven
is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

[53] And when Jesus had finished these parables He went away from there.

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

44-46. In these two parables Jesus shows the supreme value of the Kingdom
of Heaven, and the attitude people need if they are to attain it. The parables are
very alike, but it is interesting to note the differences: the treasure means abun-
dance of gifts; the pearl indicates the beauty of the Kingdom. The treasure is
something stumbled upon; the pearl, the result of a lengthy search; but in both
instances the finder is filled with joy. Faith, vocation, true wisdom, desire for
Heaven, are things which sometimes are discovered suddenly and unexpected-
ly, and sometimes after much searching (cf. St. Gregory the Great, “In Evange-
lia Homilae”, 11). However, the man’s attitude is the same in both parables and
is described in the same terms: “he goes and sells all that he has and buys it”:
detachment, generosity, is indispensable for obtaining the treasure.

“Anyone who understands the Kingdom which Christ proposes realizes that it is
worth staking everything to obtain it [...]. The Kingdom of Heaven is difficult to
win. No one can be sure of achieving it, but the humble cry of a repentant man
can open wide its doors” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 180).

47. “Fish of every kind”: almost all the Greek manuscripts and early translations
say “All kinds of things”. A dragnet is very long and about two meters wide; when
it is extended between two boats it forms double or triple mesh with the result
that when it is pulled in it collects all sorts of things in addition to fish — algae,
weeds, rubbish, etc.

This parable is rather like the parable of the cockle, but in a fishing context: the
net is the Church, the sea the world.

We can easily find in this parable the dogmatic truth of the Judgment: at the end
of time God will judge men and separate the good from the bad. It is interesting
to note our Lord’s repeated references to the last things, especially Judgment
and Hell: He emphasizes these truths because of man’s great tendency to forget
them: “All these things are said to make sure that no one can make the excuse
that he does not know about them: this excuse would be valid only if eternal pu-
nishment were spoken about in ambiguous terms” (St. Gregory the Great, “In
Evangelia Homilae”, 11).

52. “Scribe”: among the Jews a scribe was a religious teacher, a specialist in sa-
cred Scripture and its application to life. Our Lord here uses this word to refer to
the Apostles, who will have the role of teachers in His Church. Thus, the Apos-
tles and their successors, the Bishops, are the “Ecclesia docens”, the teaching
Church; they have the authority and the mission to teach. The Pope and the Bi-
shops exercise this authority directly and are also helped in this by priests. The
other members of the Church form the “Ecclesia discens”, the learning Church.
However, every disciple of Christ, every Christian who has received Christ’s tea-
ching, has a duty to pass this teaching on to others, in language they can un-
derstand; therefore, he should make sure he has a good grasp of Christian doc-
trine. The treasure of Revelation is so rich that it can provide teaching which ap-
plies to all times and situations. It is for the word of God to enlighten all ages
and situations—not the other way around. Therefore, the Church and its pastors
preach, not new things, but a single unchanging truth contained in the treasure
of Revelation: for the past two thousand years the Gospel has always been
“good news”.

*********************************************************************************************
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 07/26/2014 8:11:38 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

1 Kings 3:5,7-12 ©

The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Solomon replied, ‘O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?’ It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this. ‘Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you.’


Psalm

Psalm 118:57,72,76-77,127-130 ©

Lord, how I love your law!

My part, I have resolved, O Lord,

  is to obey your word.

The law from your mouth means more to me

  than silver and gold.

Lord, how I love your law!

Let your love be ready to console me

  by your promise to your servant.

Let your love come and I shall live

  for your law is my delight.

Lord, how I love your law!

That is why I love your commands

  more than finest gold,

why I rule my life by your precepts,

  and hate false ways.

Lord, how I love your law!

Your will is wonderful indeed;

  therefore I obey it.

The unfolding of your word gives light

  and teaches the simple.

Lord, how I love your law!


Second reading

Romans 8:28-30 ©

We know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn15:15

Alleluia, alleluia!

I call you friends, says the Lord,

because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

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.kingdom.

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel

Matthew 13:44-52 ©

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

  ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.

  ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

  ‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.’

OR:

Alternative Gospel

Matthew 13:44-46 ©

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

  ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’


6 posted on 07/26/2014 8:14:31 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 07/26/2014 8:16:54 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 07/26/2014 8:17:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Nun: The Sign of Genocide (Please join Aug 1 Day of Solidarity and Prayer)
9 posted on 07/26/2014 8:17:41 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.

10 posted on 07/26/2014 8:19:05 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 Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


11 posted on 07/26/2014 8:19:31 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
+

12 posted on 07/26/2014 8:20:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.


13 posted on 07/26/2014 8:20:57 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).  

14 posted on 07/26/2014 8:21:24 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.

15 posted on 07/26/2014 8:22:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Daily Gospel Commentary

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

Commentary of the day
Saint Basil (c.330-379), monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Doctor of the Church
Greater monastic Rules, § 8

"He goes and sells all that he has"

Our Lord Jesus Christ frequently and insistently repeated : “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16,24)… And elsewhere: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor,” after which he adds: “then come, follow me” (Mt 19,21).

For someone who understands it, the parable of the merchant is saying the same thing : « “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Undoubtedly, the precious pearls here refer to the Kingdom of heaven and our Lord shows us that it is impossible to gain it unless we give up all we possess: wealth, esteem, high birth, and those things that other people greedily seek after.

Our Lord has also declared that it is impossible to be properly busied about one’s tasks when the mind is distracted by all sorts of things: “No one can serve two masters,” he said (Mt 6,24). That is why the “treasure in heaven” is the only one we should choose to fix our heart on: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Mt 6,21)… To sum up, it is a matter of our raising our hearts to the life of heaven in such a way that we would be able to say: “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3,20). Above all, it is to begin to be like Christ, who: “though he was rich, made himself poor for our sake” (2Cor 8,9).


16 posted on 07/26/2014 8:24:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

Sunday Homily: The Kingdom of Heaven

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Rome, July 25, 2014 (Zenit.org) Fr. Jason Mitchell LC | 458 hits

 

--

1 Kings 3:5,7-12

Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-128,129-130

Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 13:44-52

King Solomon, the son of David, was established in his kingdom and built the temple for God. The Book of Chronicles "portrays this as the culmination of biblical history, a recapitulation not only of the tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness but also of creation itself. The Kingdom of Solomon is the new people of God, a liturgical empire called to bring the blessings of God to all nations through its temple and law" (S. Hahn, The Kingdom of God as Liturgical Empire, Baker Academic, 106).

As Solomon begins his reign, God comes to Solomon in a dream and tells him to ask something of him and he will give it to him. Instead of asking for a long life, riches, or victory over his enemies, Solomon asks for an understanding heart. Solomon knows that he is a servant of God and that he needs to be able to distinguish right from wrong in order to govern the people of God. God grants him his request and the words of the Psalmist are placed on Solomon's lips: "The law [of the Lord] is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces".

Solomon's life has a sad ending. The prudence and wisdom with which he governed the people at the beginning of his reign, failed him in his personal life towards the end. He allowed his heart to be turned to false gods. The Book of Sirach praises the wisdom of Solomon's youth, but points out the folly of his old age. The Kingdom was divided and a disobedient kingdom arose out of the North (Sirach 47:12-22). Solomon's son Rehoboam was ample in folly and lacking in understanding and caused the people to revolt. Jeroboam, the King of the North, caused Israel to sin.

After the exile of Israel and Judah, the prophets began foresee the restoration of the Kingdom promised to David. God will raise up a new Davidic king to lead the people out of exile and restore them in a unified Kingdom (Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11; Jeremiah 23:5-7; 30:9; Ezekiel 37:22).

Jesus, the son of David (Matthew 1:1), was anointed by the Holy Spirit in the Jordan and began his public ministry proclaiming that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promises the Kingdom to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, to the meek, to those who seek righteousness, to the merciful, to the pure, to the peacemakers and to the persecuted (Matthew 5:3-10). The greatest in the kingdom of heaven follow the law and the prophets and teach them to others.

Today, Jesus' parables of the kingdom compare it to a hidden treasure, a merchant in search of fine pearls, and to a net thrown into the sea. The first two parables encourages us to seek the kingdom tirelessly and sell everything we own to obtain it. We hear the words Jesus said to the rich young man: "If you would be perfect, go sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Matthew 19:21). The third parable tells us that good and evil will co-exist side by side until the end of time. There will be good wheat and bad weeds; there will be those who welcome the kingdom of heaven and those who reject it.

Saint Paul assures us today that God is watching over us during our time on this earth. God will lead us to the kingdom and brings us into the kingdom. First, Paul teaches that God knows each one of us from all eternity. His plan is to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things in earth. Second, God ordains (predestines) each one of us to eternal salvation. We have been destined in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ. His plan is that we live for the praise of God's glory. Third, the Father calls us and chooses us in love to be his adopted children.

Fourth, the Father justifies those who respond to his call and believe in his Son. The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and communicate to us the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ and through Baptism (CCC, 1987). We die to sin by sharing in Christ's Passion and we are born to new life through his Resurrection (CCC, 1988). The first work of grace is conversion; moved by grace, we turn toward God and away from sin. "Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man" (CCC, 1989) Finally, those he justifies by grace, he glorifies, for grace is the beginning of glory. In the Kingdom of heaven, we will contemplate the glory of the Trinity.


17 posted on 07/26/2014 8:26:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY MT 13: 44-52

Buying without Money

Fr. Paul Scalia

"Truly no man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life" (Ps 49:7). This line of the psalmist expresses a fundamental truth: We cannot merit our own salvation. No amount of good works or prayers can bridge the gap between God and man or atone for even the smallest sin. God freely bestows the grace and truth of His kingdom upon us. Salvation “is not your own doing,” the apostle makes clear. “It is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). Similarly, Isaiah invites the Israelites to the Lord’s banquet of grace saying, “You who have no money, come, buy grain and eat; come, buy grain without money, wine and milk without cost.” (Is 55:1).

At the same time, we also know that the “cost of discipleship” is steep. The kingdom of God within us, the life of grace, is kept at a price. Nor does this contradict the gratuitousness of God’s grace. It is in the logic of a gift that, although freely given, we must nevertheless do something to receive it. Isaiah’s curious command to “buy without money” indicates both dimensions — the freedom and the cost. Many presents come in boxes; they must be opened. Likewise, we must open our hands to receive handouts. The very reception of the gift demands something of us. It costs.

This paradox is at work in the parables of the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price (cf. Mt 13:44-46). The men in the parables encounter pure gifts, but they must sell everything they own in order to obtain them. They detach themselves from whatever could keep them from receiving the gift. Thus, their selling of everything signifies the detachment necessary for the kingdom of God. We cannot take hold of what God bestows if our hands are full. To receive what is given, we must empty our hands.

With regard to the first parable, the man does not seem to be looking for the treasure at all. He seems just to happen upon it. He finds it through no virtue or work of his own. So also we have come upon the kingdom of God undeservedly — or, rather, it has come upon us. Many people have stumbled upon the faith unwittingly, encountering Our Lord when and where they least expected or sought Him. The kingdom of God is freely given, not of our own making or manufacturing.

Nevertheless, we have to make it our own — to interiorize His grace and truth, to shape our lives around what we have received. That comes at a great cost. To attain that, we need to rid ourselves of everything else — in effect, to go and sell all we have, emptying our hands and hearts of anything that may come in the way of the Gospel.

The merchant teaches us something else about receiving gifts. He was searching for fine pearls already. He had already disposed himself to identify and appreciate valuable things. He had prepared himself for the pearl of great price. Thus, again, a certain effort is required for a gift. We open ourselves to God’s gifts by searching for them already. We widen our hearts to receive God’s gifts by earnestly desiring to obtain what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and praiseworthy (cf. Phil 4:8). Hearts thus widened are more capable of receiving what God gives. Hearts searching for base, impure, dishonorable things will have a difficult time receiving God’s gifts.

In neither parable does the man haggle or negotiate to gain what he has found. Each one gives all to receive all. We, however, bargain with God constantly. We try to have it both ways — to have both His gifts and the things of the world. We try to get His treasure and pearl at a lower cost. We always seek to cut corners, hoping to keep in hand some aspects of the world while we ask for the kingdom of heaven. It will not work. “Heavenly riches are not obtained without the loss of the world,” (St. Hilary).

This, then, is how we should approach the divine teaching and grace God has given us — the creed and the sacraments. Freely given to us, they must be received and kept at a great cost. As the men did in the parables, so may we detach ourselves from all worldly goods, lest they keep us from having as our own these divine gifts.

Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.


18 posted on 07/26/2014 8:28:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A  -  17th Sunday in ordinary time

He sells everything he owns and buys the field.

Matthew 13:44-52

44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;
46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind;
48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.
49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous
50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 "Have you understood all this?" They answered, "Yes."
52 And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old." (NRSV)

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

The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Let me tell you solemnly, your heart is like that field, and I am the treasure. If you search me until you find me, you will really understand the value of your treasure, you will guard your heart in such a way that no evil will come to take away your great joy. You will become the master of your heart because you will not want to lose the great treasure that you have found in me, you can be certain that you will prosper for eternal life if you do everything through me, with me, in me and for me.

If you live for me, you will be very rich indeed, you will understand the value of spiritual riches and you will thrive in my presence. The greatest misery of man is to stay far away from me, he who finds me has found the reason to live, he who follows me has found the way to heaven, and he who loves me becomes a fountain of love for his fellowmen.

All human beings have been created for the joy of being in the Presence of God. No one can find complete happiness in the world because there is a void in each one that can only be filled by me. I am the joy of the heart, I am the peace that is found when you reconcile yourself with God, I am the eternal happiness, which will be given to the children of God, those who reject evil and become holy by my grace.

I have suffered for your sins so that you may have the joy of the treasure that I am offering you. Live a life worthy of the wisdom that you find in me, turn away from all those evil things that call you to sin, set your spiritual goals high in my heart which is a furnace of love burning with desire to save souls.

When you make me your treasure, you place your heart in me. I respond by making you my treasure too, and by giving you all my love.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


19 posted on 07/26/2014 8:31:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

Give Me Jesus – A Sermon for the 17th Sunday

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The Gospel today asks a fundamental question: “What is it that you value most?”  In other words, “What is it that you most want?” Now be careful to answer this question honestly. We tend to answer questions like this the way we think we “should” answer them rather than genuinely. But when we’re with the doctor (and Jesus is our doctor) the best bet is to answer honestly so that we can begin a true healing process. And the fact is, we all need a heart transplant. That is, we need a new heart, one that desires God and the things waiting for us in heaven more than any earthly thing.

So let’s take a look at this Gospel, which sets forth in three fundamental movements the Picture and the Price of the Kingdom of God along with a Peril that reminds us that we have a choice to make.

I. The Picture  - The Gospel uses three images for the kingdom, two of which we will look at here, and the third of which we will examine later. The first two images are that of the buried treasure and the pearl. Both of these images have some significance elsewhere in the Scriptures and studying them will be helpful in fine-tuning our understanding of the gift of the Kingdom, which Jesus is discussing.

A. Buried Treasure – The concept of treasure (buried treasure in this case) is mentioned elsewhere by Jesus:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:19-21).

Hence although we tend to think of treasure as a bunch of “stuff,” this image of treasure that Jesus uses in today’s Gospel is more of an image for the heart and for our deepest desires, because our treasure is linked to our heart. One of the greatest gifts that God offers us is the gift of a new heart which values most what God is offering, namely, holiness, and God himself. One of the most fundamental prophetic texts of the Old Testament announces what Jesus has fulfilled:

Oh, my people, I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

Thus, the great treasure of the Kingdom of God gives us a new heart, for by choosing this treasure our heart is changed. To have a new heart is to see and experience our desires change. We are less focused on passing, worldly things and more interested in the lasting treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven. We begin to love what and whom God loves. We begin to love holiness, justice, chastity, goodness, righteousness, and truth. We begin to love our spouse, family members, the poor, and even our enemies the way God loves them. Our hearts become alive with joy and zeal for the Kingdom of God and an evangelical spirit impels us to speak what we believe and know to be true.

Yes, the buried and hidden treasure of the Kingdom of God unlocks our heart and brings new life coursing through our veins and arteries, through our very soul. In choosing this treasure we get a new heart. For where our treasure is, there also will be our heart.

B. Pearl - The second image, the pearl, comes from the Wisdom tradition, in which holy Wisdom is likened to a pearl. And here, too, is described one of the most precious gifts of the Kingdom of God: the gift of a new mind through holy Wisdom. And what is the new mind? It is a mind that begins to think more and more as God thinks, a mind that shares His priorities and His vision, a mind that sees as God sees; it is the mind of Christ (cf 1 Cor 2:16). With this new mind we see through and reject worldly thinking, worldly priorities, and worldly agendas. We come to rejoice in the truth of God and to grasp more deeply its beauty and sensibility. What a precious gift the new mind is, thinking with God and having the mind of Christ!

So here are two precious manifestations of the Kingdom of God: a new heart and a new mind, which is really another way of saying, “a whole new self.” God is offering us a new life, a new self, a complete transformation. This, then, leads to the next movement of the Gospel.

II. The Price - What are these offerings of the Kingdom worth and what do they ultimately cost? The answer is very clear in today’s Gospel: they cost, and are worth, EVERYTHING. Regarding the hidden treasure and the pearl, the text says that both men went and sold all they had for these precious offerings. They were willing to forsake everything for them.

Now be careful not to reduce this Gospel to a moralism. Notice that these men were eager to go and sell, to forsake, everything else. They did this not so much because they had to, but because they wanted to. They wanted to pay the price and were willing to do so even with eagerness because they were so enamored of the glory they had found. And here is the gift to seek from the Lord: a willing and eager heart for the Kingdom of God, so eager that we are willing to forsake anything and everything for it.

For ultimately the Kingdom of God does cost everything and we will not fully inherit it until we are fully done with this world and its claims on our heart.

But the gift to seek from the Lord is not that we, with sullen faces and depressed spirits, forsake the world as if we were paying taxes. No! The gift to seek is that we, like these men, be so taken by the glory of God and His kingdom that we are more than willing to set aside anything that gets in our way, that we should be so eager for the things of the Kingdom that the world’s intoxicating and addictive trinkets matter little to us and the loss of them means almost nothing.

Do you see? This is the gift: a heart that appreciates the true worth of the Kingdom of God such that no price is too high. Scripture says elsewhere:

Yes, the Kingdom of God is more than worth any price we must pay, and ultimately we will pay all for it. Pray for an eager and willing spirit that comes from appreciating the unsurpassed worth of the Kingdom!

III. The Peril - The final movement contains a warning about judgment. For ultimately we either want the Kingdom of God or we don’t. Hence the Lord speaks of a dragnet that captures everything (and this is the summons all have to come to the judgment). Those who want the Kingdom and have accepted its value and price will be gathered in. Those who do not want the Kingdom of God and do not accept its value will be escorted off.

For there are some who do not value the Kingdom. They may desire Heaven, but it is a fake “heaven” of their own making, not the real Heaven of the fullness of the Kingdom of God. The true Heaven is the Kingdom of God in all its fullness. The Kingdom of God includes things like forgiveness, mercy, justice, chastity, the dignity of life, love of the poor, love of one’s enemies,  and the celebration of what is true, good, and beautiful.  The Kingdom of God has God, not me, at its center.

Now there are many who neither want nor value some or even most of these things. When the net is drawn in, the decisions are final. And though we may wish for a magic, fairy tale ending in which the opponents of the Kingdom suddenly come to love it, God seems to say, quite clearly, that at the judgement one’s decision for or against the Kingdom is final and fixed forever.

An old song says, “Better choose the Lord today, for tomorrow, very well might be too late.” Thus we are warned: the judgment looms and we ought to be earnest in seeking a heart from the Lord that eagerly desires the Kingdom and appreciates its worth above all people and all things. In the end you get what you want. Either you will have chosen the Kingdom or not.

So pray for a new heart, one that values the Kingdom of Heaven above all else. We ought to consider ourselves warned.

The Gospel today is about what we truly value, in three movements.


20 posted on 07/26/2014 8:37:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: 1Kings 3:5,7-12 II: Romans 8:28-30


Gospel
Matthew 13:44-52

44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
48 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.
49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous,
50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
51 "Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes."
52 And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."


Interesting Details
One Main Point

The treasure and the pearl indicate the inestimable value of the kingdom and hence it should be zealously pursued to the point of renouncing everything one possesses in order to acquire it. The joy of the kingdom brings to the discoverer is beyond earthly happiness. The dragnet implies that God's kingdom comprises of all kind of people: the good, the bad and the ugly; and the best way to deal with the mixed response to God's words is patient tolerance until the day of final judgment.


Reflections
  1. As followers of Christ, how do we envision the nature of God's kingdom? How can we make known that kingdom to other people? If we value the worldly goods such as money, fame, power, appearance, etc... and spend time and energy to pursue them, how do we compare these with the values of God's kingdom? No doubt that these worldly goods bring ephemeral joy to us, but how we deduce from these experiences the greater joy of discovering God's kingdom?
  2. Each one of us physically found the Kingdom of God (the Church), but has our soul found the Kingdom of God? Is our soul rejoicing? What does one need to do for one's soul to find and to keep the joy of God's kingdom?
  3. Man is like the precious pearls that Jesus found, and Jesus gave all for us. Have you found Christ? What joy and energy has He brought to your being, body and soul? Have you found the joy to give all for Christ?

21 posted on 07/26/2014 8:39:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
I want to be holy, loving Jesus in the Eucharist, suffering with Christ Crucified and seeing Christ in my brothers and sisters.

-- Blessed Maria Grazia Tarallo

22 posted on 07/26/2014 8:40:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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.

23 posted on 07/26/2014 8:40:45 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. 


24 posted on 07/26/2014 8:41:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
I'd almost forgotten the Angelus. We used to say in high school (Catholic) but I haven't said it in years.

I copied it and will say it as often as I remember to at noon.
Thanks for posting it.

25 posted on 07/26/2014 9:34:38 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: All
Information: St. Pantaleon

Feast Day: July 27

Died: 305

Patron of: against consumption, against tuberculosis bachelors, doctors, physicians, torture victims

26 posted on 07/27/2014 6:21:04 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Pantaleon

Feast Day: July 27
Died: (around) 305

Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He was such a famous doctor that Emperor Galerius Maximian asked him to be his own personal doctor. There, at the wicked, pagan court, he got into trouble. Pagans were people who believed in false gods and false teachings. Pantaleon was a Christian, but little by little, he began to follow the bad example of the people around him. He began to agree with the false wisdom praised by the pagans. At last, he committed the great sin of completely giving up his Christian faith.

A holy priest named Hermolaos was very sad to see the famous doctor desert Jesus. He went to him and with his wise, kind words, he made Pantaleon realize what a big sin he had committed. Pantaleon realized he had made a horrible mistake. He hated his sin and joined the Church once more.

To make up for what he had done, he wanted with all his heart to suffer and die for Jesus. He followed Jesus' example by doing works of charity and by taking care of poor sick people without any charge. He healed many sick people only by prayer.

When Emperor Diocletian began torturing the Christians, Pantaleon at once gave away everything he owned to the poor. Soon afterward, some jealous doctors accused him of being a Christian. He had two choices. He could either give up his religion or he could tell the truth and be put to death. Pantaleon absolutely refused to hurt Jesus anymore. He bravely admitted he was a Christian and no amount of torture could make change his mind.

At the trial he challenged the pagan priest to cure a man who was paralyzed. The called upon their false gods but nothing happened. Then Pantaleon in the name of Jesus cured the man. Many pagans who saw this miracle became Christians. After he was killed for his faith, people showed a strong devotion to this saint. In the East he is called the "great martyr and wonder-worker."

Reflection: Do I listen to friends or do things that might weaken my faith in Jesus? We pray that the Holy Spirit may guide our hearts and minds.


27 posted on 07/27/2014 6:26:45 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
44 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Simile est regnum cælorum thesauro abscondito in agro : quem qui invenit homo, abscondit, et præ gaudio illius vadit, et vendit universa quæ habet, et emit agrum illum. παλιν ομοια εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων θησαυρω κεκρυμμενω εν τω αγρω ον ευρων ανθρωπος εκρυψεν και απο της χαρας αυτου υπαγει και παντα οσα εχει πωλει και αγοραζει τον αγρον εκεινον
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Iterum simile est regnum cælorum homini negotiatori, quærenti bonas margaritas. παλιν ομοια εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων ανθρωπω εμπορω ζητουντι καλους μαργαριτας
46 Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Inventa autem una pretiosa margarita, abiit, et vendidit omnia quæ habuit, et emit eam. ος ευρων ενα πολυτιμον μαργαριτην απελθων πεπρακεν παντα οσα ειχεν και ηγορασεν αυτον
47 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Iterum simile est regnum cælorum sagenæ missæ in mare, et ex omni genere piscium congreganti. παλιν ομοια εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων σαγηνη βληθειση εις την θαλασσαν και εκ παντος γενους συναγαγουση
48 Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. Quam, cum impleta esset, educentes, et secus littus sedentes, elegerunt bonis in vasa, malos autem foras miserunt. ην οτε επληρωθη αναβιβασαντες επι τον αιγιαλον και καθισαντες συνελεξαν τα καλα εις αγγεια τα δε σαπρα εξω εβαλον
49 So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. Sic erit in consummatione sæculi : exibunt angeli, et separabunt malos de medio justorum, ουτως εσται εν τη συντελεια του αιωνος εξελευσονται οι αγγελοι και αφοριουσιν τους πονηρους εκ μεσου των δικαιων
50 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
51 Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes. Intellexistis hæc omnia ? Dicunt ei : Etiam. λεγει αυτοις ο ιησους συνηκατε ταυτα παντα λεγουσιν αυτω ναι κυριε
52 He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old. Ait illis : Ideo omnis scriba doctus in regno cælorum, similis est homini patrifamilias, qui profert de thesauro suo nova et vetera. ο δε ειπεν αυτοις δια τουτο πας γραμματευς μαθητευθεις εις την βασιλειαν των ουρανων ομοιος εστιν ανθρωπω οικοδεσποτη οστις εκβαλλει εκ του θησαυρου αυτου καινα και παλαια

28 posted on 07/27/2014 12:04:44 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
44. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field; which when a man has found it, hides it, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.

CHRYS; The foregoing parables of the leaven, and the grain of mustard-seed, are referred to the power of the Gospel preaching, which has subdued the whole world in order to show its value and splendor, He now puts forth parables concerning a pearl and a treasure, saying The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field. For the Gospel preaching is hidden in this world; and if you do not sell your all you will not purchase it; and this you ought to do with joy; wherefore it follows, which when a man has found it, he hides it.

HILARY; This treasure indeed found without cost; for the Gospel preaching open to all, but to use and possess the treasure with its field we may not without price, for heavenly riches are not obtained without the loss of this world.

JEROME; The he hides it, does not proceed of envy towards others, but as one that treasures up what he would not lose, he hides in his heart that which he prizes above his former possessions

GREGORY; Otherwise; The treasure hidden in the field is the desire of heaven; the field in which the treasure is hidden is the discipline of heavenly learning; this, when a man finds, he hides, in order that he may preserve it; for zeal and affections heavenward it is not enough the we protect from evil spirits, if we do not protect from human praises. For in this present life we are in the war which leads to our country, and evil spirits as robbers beset us in our journey. Those therefore who carry their treasure openly, they seek to plunder in the way. When I say this; I do not mean that our neighbors should not see our works, but that in what we do, we should not seek praise from without. The kingdom of heaven is therefore compared to things of earth, that the mind may rise from things familiar to things unknown, and may learn to love the unknown by that which it knows is loved when known It follows, And for joy thereof he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. He it is that sells all he, has and buys the field, who, renouncing fleshly delights tramples upon all his worldly desires in his anxiety for the heavenly discipline.

JEROME; Or, That treasure in which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge is either God the Word, who seems hid in Christ's flesh, or the Holy Scriptures, in which are laid up the knowledge of the Savior.

AUG; Or, He speaks of the two testaments in the church, which, when any has attained to a partial understanding of, he perceives how great things lie hidden there, and goes and sells all that he has, and buys that; that is, by despising temporal things he purchases to himself peace, that he may be rich in the knowledge of God.

45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

CHRYS; The Gospel preaching not only offers manifold gain as a treasure, but is precious as a pearl; wherefore after the parable concerning the treasure, He gives that concerning the pearl. And in preaching, two things are required, namely, to be detached from the business of this life, and to be watchful, which are denoted by this merchant man. Truth moreover is one, and not manifold, and for this reason it is one pearl that is said to be found. And as one who is possessed of a pearl, himself indeed knows of his wealth, but is not known to others, often times concealing it in his hand because of its small bulk, so it is in the preaching of the Gospel; they who possess it know that they are rich, the unbelievers, not knowing of this treasure, know not of our wealth.

JEROME; By the goodly pearls may be understood the Law and the Prophets. Hear then Marcion and Manichaeus; the good pearls are the Law and the Prophets.

One pearl, the most precious of all, is the knowledge of the Savior and the sacrament of His passion and resurrection, which when the merchant man has found, like Paul the Apostle, he straightway despises all the mysteries of the Law and the Prophets and the old observances in which may a lived blameless, counting them as dung that he the inn Christ. Not that the finding of a new pearl is of condemnation of the old pearls, but that in comparison of that, all other pearls are worthless.

GREGORY; Or by the pearl of great price is to be understood the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom, which, he that has found it, sells all and buys. For he that, as far as is permitted, has had perfect knowledge of the sweetness of the heavenly life, readily leaves all things that he has loved on earth; all that once pleased him among earthly possessions now appears to have lost its beauty, for the splendor of that precious pearl is alone seen in his mind.

AUG; Or, a man seeking goodly pearls has found one pearl of great price; that is, he who is seeking good men with whom he may live profitably, finds one alone, Christ Jesus, without sin; or, seeking precepts of life, by aid of which he may dwell righteously among men, finds love of his neighbor, in which one rule, the Apostle says, are comprehended all things; or, seeking good thoughts, he finds that Word in which all things are contained, In the beginning was the Word, which is lustrous with the light of truth, steadfast with the strength of eternity, and throughout like to itself with the beauty of divinity, and when we have penetrated the shell of the flesh, will be confessed as God.

But whichever of these three it may be, or if there be any thing else that can occur to us, that can be signified under the figure of the one precious pearl, its preciousness is the possession of ourselves, who are not free to possess it unless we despise all things that can be possessed in this world. For having sold our possessions, we receive no other return greater than ourselves, (for while we were involved in such things we were not our own,) that we may again give ourselves for that pearl, not because we are of equal value to that, but because we cannot give any thing more.

47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a net, that was cast into the sea and gathered of every kind:
48. Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from the just,
50. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

CHRYS; In the foregoing parables, He has commended the Gospel preaching; now, that we may not trust in preaching only, nor think that faith alone is sufficient for our salvation, He adds another fearful parable, saying, Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea.

JEROME; In fulfillment of that prophecy of Hieremias, who said, I will send to you many fishers, when Peter and Andrew, James and John, heard the words, Follow me, I will make you fishers of men, they put together a net for themselves formed of the Old and New Testaments, and cast it into the sea of this world, and that remains spread until this day, taking up out of the salt and bitter and whirlpools whatever falls into it, that is good men and bad; and this is that He adds, And gathered of every kind.

GREGORY; Or otherwise; The Holy Church is likened to a net, because it is given into the hands of fishers, and by it each man is drawn into the heavenly kingdom out of the waves of this present world, that he should not be drowned in the depth of eternal death. This net gathers of every kind of fishes, because the wise and the foolish, the free and the slave, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, are called to forgiveness of sin; it is then fully filled when in the end of all stings the sum of the human race is completed; as it follows, Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting down on the shore gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they cast away. For as the sea signifies the world, so the sea shore signifies the end of the world; and as the good are gathered into vessels, but the bad cast away, so each man is received into eternal abodes, while the reprobate having lost the light of the inward kingdom are cast forth into outer darkness. But now the net of faith holds good and bad mingled together in one; but the shore shall discover what the net of the Church has brought to land.

JEROME; For when the net shall be drawn to the shore, then shall be shown the true test for separating the fishes.

CHRYS; Wherein does this parable differ from the parable of the tares? There, as here, some perish and some are saved; but there, because of their heresy of evil dogmas; in the first parable of the sower because of their not attending to what was spoken; here because of their evil life, because of which, though drawn by the net, that is, enjoying the knowledge of God, they cannot be saved. And when you hear that the wicked are cast away, that you may not suppose that this punishment may be risked,

He adds an exposition showing its severity, saying, Thus shall it be in the end of the world; the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Though He elsewhere declares, that He shall separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; He here declares, that the Angels shall do it, as also in the parable of the tares.

GREGORY; To fear becomes us here, rather than to expound; for the torments of sinners are pronounced in plain terms, that none might plead his ignorance, should eternal punishment be threatened in obscure sayings.

JEROME; For when the end of the world shall be come, then shall be shown the true test of separating the fishes, and as in a sheltered harbor the good shall be sent into the vessels of heavenly abodes, but the flame of hell shall seize the wicked to be dried up and withered.

51. Jesus said to them, Have you understood all these things? They say to him, Yea, Lord.
52. Then said he to them, Therefore every Scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.

GLOSS; When the multitude had departed, the Lord spoke to His disciples in parables, by which they were instructed only so far as they understood them; wherefore He asks them, Have you understood all these things? They say to him, Yea, Lord.

JEROME; For this is spoken especially to the Apostles, whom He would have not to bear only as the multitude, but to understand as having to teach others.

CHRYS; Then He praises them because they had understood; He said to them; Therefore every Scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like to a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.

AUG; He said not 'old and new,' as He surely would have said had He not preferred to preserve the order of value rather than of time. But the Manicheans while they think they should keep only the new promises of God, remain in the old man of the flesh, and put on newness of error.

ID; By this conclusion, whether did He desire to show whom He intended by the treasure hid in the field - in which case we might understand the Holy Scriptures to be here meant, the two Testaments by the things new and old - or did He intend that he should be held learned in the Church who understood that the Old Scriptures were expounded in parables, taking rules from these new Scripture seeing that in them also the Lord proclaimed many things in parables. If He then, in whom all those old Scriptures have their fulfillment and manifestation, yet speaks in parables until His passion shall rend the vale, when there is nothing hid that shall not be revealed; much more those things which were written of Him so long time before we see to have been clothed in parables; which the Jews took literally, being unwilling to be learned in the kingdom of Heaven.

GREGORY; But if by things new and old in this passage we understand the two Testaments, we deny Abraham to have been learned, who although he knew indeed Some deeds of the Old Testament, yet had not read the words. Neither Moses may we compare to a learned householder, for although he composed the Old Testament, yet had he not the words of the New. But what is here said may be understood as meant not of those who had been, but of such as might hereafter be in the Church, who then bring forth things new and old when they speak the preaching of both Testaments, in their words and in their lives.

HILARY; Speaking to His disciples, He calls them Scribes on account of their knowledge, because they understood the things that He brought forward, both new and old, that is from the Law and from the Gospels; both being of the same householder, and both treasures of the same owner. He compares them to Himself under the figure of a householder because they had received doctrine of things both new and old out of His treasury of the Holy Spirit.

JEROME; Or the Apostles are called Scribes instructed, as being the Savior's notaries who wrote His words and precepts on fleshly tables of the heart with the sacraments of the heavenly kingdom, and abounded in the wealth of a house. holder, bringing forth out of the stores of their doctrine things new and old; whatsoever they preached in the Gospels, that they proved by the words of the Law and the Prophets Whence the Bride speaks in the Song of Songs; I have kept for you my beloved the new with the old.

GREGORY; Otherwise; The things old are, that the human race for its sin should suffer in eternal punishment; the things new, that they should be converted and live in the kingdom. First, He brought forward a comparison of the kingdom to a treasure found and a pearl of price; and after that, narrated the punishment of hell in the burning of the wicked, and then concluded with Therefore every Scribe &c. as if He had said, He is a learned preacher in the Church who knows to bring forth things new concerning the sweetness of the kingdom, and to speak things old concerning the terror of punishment; that at least punishment may deter those whom rewards do not excite.

Catena Aurea Matthew 13
29 posted on 07/27/2014 12:05:11 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Coronation of the Virgin with Saints

Giovanni Serodine

c. 1625
Oil on canvas
Parish church, Ascona

30 posted on 07/27/2014 12:05:42 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Friday, July 27

Liturgical Color: Green

Today the Church remembers St.
Panteleon. He was a doctor put on trial
for being Christian. Pagan doctors could
not cure a paralyzed man. He mentioned
the name Jesus and the man could walk.
Many converted, but he was still martyred
in 305 A.D.

31 posted on 07/27/2014 4:54:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 226 - Why does God want us to "hallow" his name? // What is the meaning of the Sign of the Cross?

Why does God want us to "hallow" his name (that is, keep it holy)?

To tell someone your name is a sign of trust. Since God has told us his name, he makes himself recognizable and grants us access to him through this name. God is absolute truth. Someone who calls Truth himself by his name but uses it to testify to a lie sins seriously.

One must not pronounce the name of God irreverently. For we know him only because he has entrusted himself to us. The Holy Name, after all, is the key to the heart of the Almighty. Therefore it is a terrible offense to blaspheme God, to curse using God's name, or to make false promises in his name. The Second Commandment is therefore also a commandment that protects "holiness" in general. Places, things, names, and people who have been touched by God are "holy". Sensitivity to what is holy is called reverence.


What is the meaning of the Sign of the Cross?

Through the Sign of the Cross we place ourselves under the protection of the Triune God.

At the beginning of the day, at the beginning of a prayer, but also at the beginning of important undertakings, a Christian makes the Sign of the Cross over himself and thus starts his business "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". We are surrounded on all sides by the Triune God; calling upon him by name sanctifies the things we set out to do; it obtains blessings for us and strengthens us in difficulties and temptations. (YOUCAT questions 359-360)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (2142-2155) and other references here.


32 posted on 07/27/2014 5:01:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 3: Life in Christ (1691 - 2557)

Section 2: The Ten Commandments (2052 - 2557)

Chapter 1: You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, and with All Your Soul, and with All Your Mind (2083 - 2195)

Article 2: The Second Commandment (2142 - 2167)

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.72

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely". But I say to you, Do not swear at all.73

I. THE NAME OF THE LORD IS HOLY

2807-2815
(all)

2142

The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters.

72.

Ex 20:7; Deut 5:11.

73.

Mt 5:33-34.

203
435
(all)

2143

Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. "The Lord's name is holy." For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.74

74.

Cf. Zech 2:13; Ps 29:2; 96:2; 113:1-2.

2144

Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it evokes. The sense of the sacred is part of the virtue of religion: Are these feelings of fear and awe Christian feelings or not? ... I say this, then, which I think no one can reasonably dispute. They are the class of feelings we should have — yes, have to an intense degree — if we literally had the sight of Almighty God; therefore they are the class of feelings which we shall have, if we realize His presence. In proportion as we believe that He is present, we shall have them; and not to have them, is not to realize, not to believe that He is present.75

75.

John Henry Cardinal Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons V,2 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1907) 21-22.

2472
427
(all)

2145

The faithful should bear witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear.76 Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

76.

Cf. Mt 10:32; 1 Tim 6:12.

2146

The second commandment forbids the abuse of God's name, i.e., every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

2101
(all)

2147

Promises made to others in God's name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God's name and in some way to make God out to be a liar.77

77.

Cf. 1 Jn 1:10.

1756
(all)

2148

Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God — inwardly or outwardly — words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's name. St. James condemns those "who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called."78 The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.

Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.79

78.

Jas 2:7.

79.

Cf. CIC, can. 1369.

2149

Oaths which misuse God's name, though without the intention of blasphemy, show lack of respect for the Lord. The second commandment also forbids magical use of the divine name. [God's] name is great when spoken with respect for the greatness of his majesty. God's name is holy when said with veneration and fear of offending him.80

80.

St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 2,5,19:PL 34,1278.

II. TAKING THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN

2150

The second commandment forbids false oaths. Taking an oath or swearing is to take God as witness to what one affirms. It is to invoke the divine truthfulness as a pledge of one's own truthfulness. An oath engages the Lord's name. "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name."81

81.

Deut 6:13.

215
(all)

2151

Rejection of false oaths is a duty toward God. As Creator and Lord, God is the norm of all truth. Human speech is either in accord with or in opposition to God who is Truth itself. When it is truthful and legitimate, an oath highlights the relationship of human speech with God's truth. A false oath calls on God to be witness to a lie.

1756
2476
(all)

2152

A person commits perjury when he makes a promise under oath with no intention of keeping it, or when after promising on oath he does not keep it. Perjury is a grave lack of respect for the Lord of all speech. Pledging oneself by oath to commit an evil deed is contrary to the holiness of the divine name.

2466
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2153

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the second commandment: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' But I say to you, Do not swear at all. ... Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one."82 Jesus teaches that every oath involves a reference to God and that God's presence and his truth must be honored in all speech. Discretion in calling upon God is allied with a respectful awareness of his presence, which all our assertions either witness to or mock.

82.

Mt 5:33-34,37; Cf. Jas 5:12.

2154

Following St. Paul,83 the tradition of the Church has understood Jesus' words as not excluding oaths made for grave and right reasons (for example, in court). "An oath, that is the invocation of the divine name as a witness to truth, cannot be taken unless in truth, in judgment, and in justice."84

83.

Cf. 2 Cor 1:23; Gal 1:20.

84.

CIC, can. 1199 § 1.

1903
(all)

2155

The holiness of the divine name demands that we neither use it for trivial matters, nor take an oath which on the basis of the circumstances could be interpreted as approval of an authority unjustly requiring it. When an oath is required by illegitimate civil authorities, it may be refused. It must be refused when it is required for purposes contrary to the dignity of persons or to ecclesial communion.


33 posted on 07/27/2014 5:04:21 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 27, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. 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    Fruit Tapioca Parfait

o    Pink and White Meringue Torte

o    Potatoes and Peas in Cream

o    Shrimp Marsala

ACTIVITIES

o    Childhood Games

o    Homemade Prayer Book for Preschool Children

o    Make Your Own Chef's Hat

o    Story-Telling

PRAYERS

o    Ordinary Time, After Pentecost: Table Blessing 1

o    Ordinary Time, After Pentecost: Table Blessing 2

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

LIBRARY

o    By the Babe Unborn | G. K. Chesterton

o    Christ the Source of Resurrection and Life | Unknown

o    God Alone Is My Every Good, My Life | Pope John Paul II

·         Ordinary Time: July 27th

·         Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it" (Matt 13:44-46).

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


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the first Book of Kings 3:5, 7-12. God gives Solomon a choice of gifts. Solomon asks God for "an understanding mind," so that he could always do what was just and best for his subjects. God rewards him with the gift of wisdom making him the wisest man that ever lived. — The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.

The second reading is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:28-30. The theme of this reading concerns the graciousness and mercy of God at work in calling men to himself, justifying them, and glorifying them as well. The point of the reading is the eternal mystery of the ineffable love of God for man, even before man existed. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin

The Gospel is from St. Matthew 13:44-52. The lesson of these two parables is as true for us today, as it was for those Palestinians to whom Christ spoke. All Christians are called on to imitate the two wise men, and surrender all their earthly possessions if necessary in order to gain eternal life. Does this "giving all" mean that we are all expected to abandon the world and take on the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience? There are many who do just this. But it is not the only way, nor the normal way, to purchase the eternal treasure. Heaven is within the reach of all, who follow the ordinary vocations of life and partake of this world's joys and pleasures within the framework of God's commandments, but never lose sight of the goal toward which they are moving.

Keeping within the framework of God's commandments is the difficulty. We need not have a vow of obedience, but we must obey all legitimate authority. We may possess the goods of this world, but only such goods as we lawfully and justly acquire. Nor may we withhold all of these from a fellow man who is in need. We do not have to take a vow of chastity, but yet we must be chaste, we must use the gifts and the pleasure of sex only within the limits set down by God's wise laws.

All of this is not easy for human nature. But we are not relying on weak human nature, we have within our reach in the Church all the spiritual and supernatural aids we need. Our twentieth century, it is true, is so engrossed in chasing after the earthly comforts and pleasures of the body, and so devoid of any spiritual or other-worldly outlook, that even those who know and believe that there is an eternity after death, find it hard to allow their faith and convictions to govern and direct their daily actions. Yet, the evil example of others will never justify our wrong-doing. The commandments of God are still binding, even though they are openly and flagrantly violated by individuals and whole nations today.

Remember this: we shall not be asked at the judgment, "What did your neighbor do?", but "what did you do?" If we lose the pearl of great price in the eternity of happiness God has offered to us-it will not be the fault of others. The fault will be ours and ours only. We refused to pay the price. We did not think it worth the "paltry all" which we possessed in this life.

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


34 posted on 07/27/2014 5:12:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 13:44-52

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Out of joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)

Have you ever noticed how much effort some people put into identifying themselves with certain groups? From social clubs to frequent-flyer programs, from parish committees to social networks, we are all looking for some sense of belonging. But the problem is, for every group that has welcomed you, there are even more that won’t. This is why the gospel truly is good news: Jesus welcomes everyone, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, slave and free. He has established a group where no one ever has to be turned away.

We often read the first two parables in today’s Gospel as accounts of a person’s joy at discovering the kingdom of God. But we can also read them as pictures of God’s joy at “discovering.” With great joy, God sacrificed his greatest treasure, his Son, in order to bring us to himself. Such a high price shows us how deeply he wants us to belong to him.

God doesn’t let us into his kingdom reluctantly. Believe it or not, you are a treasure to him! This can be hard to believe sometimes because it’s not the way we usually look at ourselves. But you really are like treasure hidden in a field, out of view, not recognized. It’s only when God’s kingdom is revealed that you will be fully unveiled—but even now, God sees the beauty in you, and he rejoices in it.

This passage isn’t just about us. It’s about every single person God ever created. He paid the exact same price for each of them, from the greatest saint to the worst sinner. No one is excluded; no one is rejected; no one is barred. That treasure hidden in a field? It has a wide variety of gemstones and precious metals in it. Not all of them shine as brightly—at least not now. But each one is of immeasurable value to our Father. You are, and so are the people who are very different from you.

“Father, thank you for giving everything to bring me into your kingdom.”

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12; Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130; Romans 8:28-30

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52)

1. Solomon could have anything he wanted from God, but chose an “understanding heart to judge” and the ability “to distinguish right from wrong.” Why do you think this was so pleasing to God? All of us spend time judging the hearts of others and making decisions about what is right and wrong. What additional steps can you take to allow your judgments and decisions to be guided more by the Holy Spirit than by your likes and desires?

2. The Responsorial Psalm says, “Lord, I love your commands.” Why should we love the Lord’s commands, even when they are often hard to keep? What are the circumstances or situations in your life that can make it difficult to follow the Lord’s commands?

3. St. Paul says, “all things work for good for those who love God.” But how easy it is to complain or rail against our situations instead of counting on the Lord’s love for us? Can you share a difficult time when the Lord worked good for you despite your hurts, fears or anxieties?

4. In the Gospel, we read of the merchant who sells everything to acquire a valuable treasure. How much do you “treasure” your relationship with Jesus? What else can you do to deepen this relationship?

5. The meditation asks us to look at the first two parables in the Gospel reading from God’s point of view: “God doesn’t let us into his kingdom reluctantly. Believe it or not, you are a treasure to him! This can be hard to believe sometimes because it’s not the way we usually look at ourselves. But you really are like treasure hidden in a field, out of view, not recognized.” What do these words mean to you? How easy, or hard, is it for you to believe these words? Why?

6. Take some time now to pray and thank your heavenly Father for sacrificing “his greatest treasure, his Son, in order to bring us to himself.” Use the prayer at the end of the mediation as the starting point.


35 posted on 07/27/2014 5:31:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

THAT TREASURE IS THE LORD HIMSELF AND THE LIFE IN HIS KINGDOM

(A biblical reflection on the 17th Ordinary Sunday, 27 July 2014)

hidden-treasure

Gospel Reading: Mathew 13:44-52 (short version: Matthew 13:44-46)

First Reading: 1Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalms: Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Second Reading: Romans 8:28-30

The Scripture Text
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
“Have you understood all this?” They said to Him, “Yes.” And He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:44-52 RSV)

What is your “treasure”? What do you consider the most valuable thing you could possess? Throughout scripture, we see that God our Father wants to give us a treasure beyond all price if we but ask Him. King Salomon was called the wisest man on the earth because he asked God for wisdom and good judgment (1 Kings 3:5,7-12). Jesus’ parables frequently highlighted the “treasure” that God offers those who seek Him. The Psalms also direct us to seek treasure in God’s word, which is finer than gold (Psalm 119:127).

images (3)

The man in the parable of the treasure hidden in the field eagerly set out to sell everything. Why? Because he found something worth possessing above all his other possessions. Fortunately, he only needed enough money to buy the field – not the whole treasure. In a similar fashion, God offers us the treasure of His Kingdom at a price we can afford!

We can’t pay the full price for the life God wants to give us. That treasure is the Lord Himself and life in His Kingdom, a Kingdom of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). In baptism we are united with Jesus in His death and resurrection. We become adopted children of God and temples of the Holy Spirit. This is something far beyond our ability to produce, let alone maintain. Only God can make us into a new creation.

Today at Mass, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the value of the treasure that God offers each and every one of us. Let’s set aside our earthly interests for a while – concerns about our friends, our jobs, our families, and what we will do with our free times – to spend time with the Lord. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with heaven’s treasure: life and communication with Jesus forever!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my treasure and joy, my hope and consolation. Free me from all that would keep me from You. May I always find strength in Your word and delight in Your presence. Amen.

36 posted on 07/27/2014 7:40:44 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 27, 2014:

Are there circumstances in your life that are inhibiting your relationship with your beloved? These could be serious like addictions or simple like focusing more on your phone then your spouse. Recognize what stands between you and your spouse and “throw them away.”

37 posted on 07/27/2014 7:50:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Scripture  Study 

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A 

Opening prayer  

1 Kings 3:5,7-12          

(Ps 119:57,72,76-77,127-130)          

Romans 8:28-30        

Matthew 13:44-52     

 

Overview of the Gospel:

• This Sunday’s Gospel reading is the conclusion of Matthew, chapter 13, which features many of Jesus’ most well known parables. We will be looking at three parables and a final instruction by Jesus.

• Verses 44-46 are really two parables that emphasize one important truth: the surpassing riches and beauty of the kingdom of heaven are worth more than anything that would be given up to obtain it, whether one just stumbles upon it (verse 44) or is searching for it (verse 45-46). Some, like the rich young man in Matthew 19:21, will find the cost too high.

•  Verses 47-50 concerns a dragnet, a very large net that was tied between two fishing boats. Along with fish, it also tended to pick up trash, seaweed and algae that had to be separated from the catch. Like the parable of the weeds in the field we heard last week, Jesus likens this to the Church at the Last Judgment.

• Finally, Jesus reveals to his Apostles how they will be like the religious teachers who taught the old Law. The difference, however, is that they will find their treasure not only in the Old Testament, but also in the new Law of the Gospel. 

Questions:

• In the 1st Reading, when God offers to give Solomon whatever he asks, what does the young king ask for? What is God’s response? Can you see yourself asking for the same thing of God? Why or why not?

• What does the 2nd Reading tell us about placing our trust in God? How does God reward that trust?

• In the Gospel Reading, what do the parables in verses 44-50 teach about the value of the kingdom? With what emotion and energy should it be pursued?

• What does the parable of the net teach about the kingdom of heaven? How does it compare with the parable of the weeds (verses 24-30)?

• Who are the teachers of the old Law who have been instructed in the new Gospel (verse 52)? • Compared to the man and the merchant, how valuable is the kingdom to you and why:  (a) It’s worth more than anything else. (b) I think I’d miss too much of the other things. (c) I’m not ready to put all my eggs in one basket.

• Examine how you spend your time, talent and treasure and ask yourself: “What would I sacrifice for the kingdom of heaven?” 

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 1724, 546, 29 

 

Closing prayer 

 

If the object of love is what is good, then the soul should take its delight in the higher good, the things of heaven.   –St. Gregory the Great


38 posted on 07/27/2014 7:57:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

The Pearl of Great Price

Pastor’s Column

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 27, 2014

 

“I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimate they have made of the value of things.” --Benjamin Franklin

If only we knew the true value of things we would always make right choices! How often we can fail to see a valuable opportunity until the time has completely passed us by. This is particularly true at funerals, when many often realize that what matters most in life are not possessions at all, but relationships with those we love, our family, our friends, and God himself. Jesus offers two parables this Sunday (Matthew 13:44-52) which speak to the true value of things.

In the parable of the Pearl of Great Price, a merchant is actually searching for a truly valuable pearl. This person is driven to find the best and recognizes it when he sees it. The catch, of course, is that he must sell everything to be able to buy this pearl, but it is worth it!

In Jesus’ second example, a man is digging in a field when he just happens to encounter a buried treasure! Unlike the merchant in the first example, this is an accidental encounter with something truly valuable. What does this laborer do? He re-buries the treasure and then sells all he has so as to be able to afford to buy the whole field and the treasure it contains.

Sometimes a treasure is searched-for and, at times, we stumble upon it. Would I recognize something truly valuable if I encountered it? Almost all of us can tells stories of an investment opportunity we may have missed, a relationship that we failed to take advantage of, a job that we did not act on or a possession we gave away without realizing its true value until much later.

Of course, the real under-valued commodity in the world today is the Gospel and Jesus’ offer of eternal life! People in the world often chase after all kinds of things that are passed off as valuable, but whose true worth is actually not very much.

At the present time, Jesus offers us a friendship with himself, our redeemer and creator, and eternal life as well; but he appears to many as a beggar, as a person of little worth, that can be passed up or taken up later.

Other, more immediate items of seemingly greater value seem to beckon us. It may seem more attractive to watch television than to pray; or to stay in bed rather than to attend church on Sunday; instead of an act of kindness, we might be tempted to selfishness because it offers immediate gratification.

Yet all of this is a test! When we reach the end of our lives, nothing on earth will be as valuable as having a real relationship with the Lord of heaven and earth, who is literally holding the key to the future. Then every investment we have made with him, though seemingly small at the time, will bear interest forever!                                                       Father Gary


39 posted on 07/27/2014 8:15:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Reflections from Scott Hahn

Treasures of the Kingdom: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 07.25.14 |

1 Kings 3:5,7-12  
Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130
Romans 8:28-30  
Matthew 13:44-52

What is your new life in Christ worth to you?

Do you love His words more than gold and silver, as we sing in today’s Psalm? Would you, like the characters in the Gospel today, sell all that you have in order to possess the kingdom He promises to us? If God were to grant any wish, would you follow Solomon’s example in today’s First Reading—asking not for a long life or riches, but for wisdom to know God’s ways and to desire His will?

The background for today’s Gospel, as it has been for the past several weeks, is the rejection of Jesus’ preaching by Israel. The kingdom of heaven has come into their midst, yet many cannot see that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises, a gift of divine compassion given that they—and we, too—might live.

We too must ever discover the kingdom anew, to find it as a treasure - a pearl of great price. By comparison with the kingdom, we must count all else as rubbish (see Philippians 3:8). And we must be willing to give up all that we have—all our priorities and plans—in order to gain it.

Jesus’ Gospel discloses what Paul, in today’s Epistle, calls the purpose of God’s plan (see Ephesians 1:4). That purpose is that Jesus be the firstborn of many brothers.

His words give understanding to the simple, the childlike. As Solomon does today, we must humble ourselves before God, giving ourselves to His service. Let our prayer be for an understanding heart, one that desires only to do His will.

We are called to love God, to delight in His law, and to forsake every false way. And we are to conform ourselves daily ever more closely to the image of His Son.

If we do this, we can approach His altar as a pleasing sacrifice, confident that all things work for the good—that we whom He has justified, will also one day be glorified.


40 posted on 07/27/2014 8:20:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Sunday: Priceless Treasures

 

 

"The kingdom of heaven is like . . ."

 

The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072714.cfm

 

 

1 Kgs 3: 5, 7-12

Rm 8: 28-30

Mt 13: 44 - 52

 

What is your treasure? What or who do you value the most?  Who do you cling to as spouse or friend or child? What do you hold so precious that it has been placed in a safe deposit box in order that it never be lost? What activity do you spend a large part of your day or week involved in or thinking about?

Such questions may not be ones we consciously ask ourselves but they do give us the opportunity to set priorities.  We all have people, things, activities we hold dear and enjoy. They define our day and our lives.  

But a more fundamental question for us Christians is presented to us in our Gospel today.  In fact the last two Sundays offered us similar reflections. Parables of Jesus from the Gospels of Matthew 13 continue today, in which Jesus uses an array of images from both nature and ancient agricultural life we may feel a bit of parable overload. Jesus begins with simple images his crowds were very familiar with.  He begins, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . .”

“A sower who scatters seed wide and far

Wheat and weeds growing together

A mustard seed which grows to a large bush

Yeast in wheat flour

A treasure buried in a field

A fine pearl of great price

A net thrown into the sea which “collects fish of every kind.’”

In other words, what is your treasure? In all the values we hold dear and the priorities we set, where is that of the kingdom of heaven?  The kingdom of heaven is Jesus way of calling us to a new way of life according to his teachings, morals, and priorities.  That teaching is not cheap grace but rather a priceless treasure offered to everyone.  Yes, to you and me.

The image of a treasure in a field, for example, may be unusual to us but to the ancients it is important to remember that there were no banks, credit unions, or stock markets.  There was no safe way for the average person to protect whatever valuables or money they may have had, unless you were among the very rare rich and elite. So, most people would hide their treasures or their money by burying them in the property near where they lived.  

However, this false sense of security was easily shattered when thieves would uncover the valuables or if there was war and the residents had to flee their property.  Jewish law said essentially “finders keepers” so if you uncovered a treasure, it was yours.  Obviously this parable reflects that but in an exaggerated way.  

The “treasure buried in a field” must have been so enormous that whoever found it recognized its great value and in order to keep it secure buried it again then went and bought the entire field around it!  If Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven, God’s ways, is like that then our faith is priceless and nothing we possess can equal its value.  So, why would you not want such a treasure? Yes, we can all be rich.  

In the end, our life is called to be one in which we pursue above all other things and even human relationships this treasure of the kingdom of heaven.  But wait!  How can we give up the people we love? Why would Jesus ask us to do such a thing?

Well, he isn’t.  Even monks in monasteries and women religious who may live a cloistered life have special people in their lives.  But, if those people become “gods” for us or if they diminish rather than enhance our spiritual lives or somehow pull us away from what is holy and good, then we have misplaced priorities. What are your friends like and how much influence do they have over you?

Our first reading from the Book of Kings presents King Solomon who, at least as he began his rule, had the best of intentions and the right priorities. As King he could have amassed earthly wealth, power and prestige.  But Solomon prays: "Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong." Needless to say, God was extremely pleased with this selfless prayer. Unfortunately, Solomon later misplaced his intentions so it is a warning to all of us.  

Yet, it’s all about getting our priorities straight as Christians. Certainly as Catholics we have a treasure in our faith, sacraments, traditions, charitable institutions, music and opportunities for serving the needs of others.  Are we making the best of what we have been given?

Among the greatest treasures we have is the Holy Eucharist, the true presence of Christ in our midst each time our Mass is celebrated.  And each time we approach the altar we are offered a priceless gift: God himself among us who calls each of us to live holy lives and shows us how to do that.

If you can find anything better than that – then go for it!    

O God, protector of those who hope in you,

without whom nothing has firm foundation,

nothing is holy,

bestow in abundance your mercy upon us

and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,

we may use the good things that pass

in such a way as to hold fast even now

to those that ever endure.

 

(Collect for Sunday: Roman Missal)


41 posted on 07/27/2014 8:31:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Insight Scoop

Christ is the Treasure Hidden in the Field

"The Hidden Treasure" (illustration from 'The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ') by James Tissot (1836-1902) [WikiArt.org]

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for July 27, 2014 | Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• 1 Kngs 3:5, 7-12
• Psa 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
• Rom 8:28-30
• Mt 13:44-52

How good are you and I at recognizing something that is valuable, even priceless?

That question captures some of what the final three parables in Matthew 13 are meant to impress upon readers. These parables are all quite short, but along with the previous four parables they show how important it was to Jesus to repeatedly explain the mystery of the Kingdom from different but complimentary perspectives.

The parable of the treasure buried in the field and the parable of the pearl draw upon common but powerful experience: the joy of discovering what was previously hidden. Man, by nature, is a creature of curiosity, a seeker who believes there is something really worth seeking. And while his curiosity can be caught up for a time in natural wonders and pleasures, he always longs for more. He wants to discover who he is and why he exists. The answers to those essential questions can be given only by God.

Some of the early Christian Fathers saw in the parable of the treasure a metaphor for the Incarnation and how the truth about God is finally found hidden in a man—not any man, but the Son of God, Jesus Christ. “If any one, therefore, reads the Scriptures with attention,” wrote Saint Irenaeus, “he will find in them an account of Christ, and a foreshadowing of the new calling. For Christ is the treasure which was hid in the field, that is, in this world . . . but the treasure hid in the Scriptures is Christ, since He was pointed out by means of types and parables” (Against Heresies, 4.26.1).

The treasures of Christ and Scripture are intimately linked to one another, for Christ fulfills Scripture even as, of course, Scripture proclaims Christ. Both can be explored by the seeker of Truth. As Jesus stated earlier in Matthew’s Gospel: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Mt 7:7).

But why does the man who finds the treasure bury it again? Because by law the treasure belongs to the owner of the field, which means the man must purchase, or redeem, the entire field. His decision is a radical one: he “sells all that he has and buys that field.” In doing so, perhaps he makes a new start, renouncing his old, self-centered way of life for the pursuit of what is good, perfect, and holy—the person of Jesus Christ. “Indeed, the preaching of the Gospels has no strings attached,” remarked Saint Hilary about this parable, “but the power to use and own this treasure with the field comes at a price, for heavenly riches are not possessed without a worldly loss.”

Buying the entire field in order to have the treasure reflects, in a way, how God has redeemed the entire world so that he might save those who accept the invitation to become his children, freed from their bondage to sin and the evil one. As children of God by grace, Christians emulate the perfect example of the One who was a Son by nature, giving up everything in order to have the treasure, to hold the pearl of great price.

At first glance the final parable might appear to be a sudden, harsh departure from the joyful images preceding it. What does the final judgment and the fiery torments of hell have to do with the Kingdom? It is this: we must choose, and we must act accordingly. There is no compromise, nor is there time to waste. We may die at any moment; we assuredly will meet our mortal end. We are the ones who will write the endings to the parables by the choices we make.

The question asked by Jesus of the disciples is also asked of us today: “Do you understand all these things?” If our answer is “Yes,” then we know what is valuable, even priceless. Which means one thing: its time to start digging!

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the July 27, 2008, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


42 posted on 07/27/2014 8:40:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Christ´s Kingdom: the Path to Joy
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
July 27, 2014. Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13: 44-52

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all this?" They answered, "Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come into your presence seeking to know you better. I believe that you take the lead in seeking me. You want me to find you. I trust that in your mercy you will bring me to intimacy with you. I open my heart today to receive your friendship.

Petition: Lord, help me to strive for the for the Kingdom of heaven for myself and others.

1. The Treasure of the Kingdom: “From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Christ’s heart overflows with irrepressible zeal for the Kingdom of heaven. He longs for everyone who hears him to fall in love with that Kingdom. “His descriptions of the Kingdom flow from his lips like water over a waterfall — his vision is so rich and vibrant that language itself can barely contain it” (Fr. John Bartunek, LC, The Better Part, 184). At times we stumble upon the Kingdom of heaven almost by accident, like the treasure in the field. But we know that treasure is worth more than all the earthly fields we can ever hope to possess. Other times we make a long and diligent search before encountering the Kingdom, like the pearl of great price. Its beauty captivates our hearts.

2. The Joy of the Kingdom: Though the Kingdom of heaven sparkles like a many-faceted gem, one feature always shines forth: Discovering it fills the heart with joy. Have we ever caught a glimpse of the Kingdom? It is there in the ardent vigor of thousands of young people acclaiming Pope-Emeritus Benedict at World Youth Day. It is there in the reverent silence of a lone adorer in a Eucharistic chapel. It is there in the enduring strength of present-day mothers such as Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, who give up their lives for their unborn children. The Kingdom of heaven is worth everything and demands everything. Have we sold all we possess in order to attain it? What still holds us back? What earthly plots do we still cling to, fearing to sell them for a treasure beyond what we dare hope for?

3. “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth”: The Kingdom of heaven is also like a net thrown into the sea. Not all that the net collects is worth keeping. So, too, not everyone enters into the Kingdom. What a sudden contrast to the joy of the Kingdom that pervades the first two images! Why does Christ include this third and final description of the Kingdom? He knows how easy it is for us to forget the most important truths of our lives: the reality of the last judgment, for which we should be preparing at every moment. Christ knows that the stakes are high, and we need to be reminded of them in order to have the courage to sell everything to reach the Kingdom. “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1035). Let us continue to pray and sacrifice, so that one day we and all the souls entrusted to us will arrive to the eternal joys of the Kingdom of heaven.
 
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to be generous and give up everything for the sake of your Kingdom in my life and in the lives of those souls entrusted to me. You know that I cannot do so on my own. Help me with your grace to be generous.

Resolution: I will be open to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in responding to the opportunities to bring someone closer to Christ’s Kingdom today.


43 posted on 07/27/2014 8:46:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

If God Gave You One Wish, What Would You Ask For?

 

July 27, 2014
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072714.cfm

If God appeared to you and gave you one wish, what would you ask for? I bet most of us have a readymade list that we present to God on a regular basis anyway. We might just start at the top and see if he’d let us sneak in a few bullet points under the “one wish” heading. Money, power, prestige, safety, security, a big enough nest egg to retire at 65, a promotion, a paid-off home loan, a nice long vacation: There are quite a few things that would simmer to the top of our minds given such a chance. While most of us won’t get the opportunity, Solomon did.

Context

Our first reading on Sunday comes from 1 Kings, which tells of the beginning of Solomon’s reign. Solomon inherits the throne from his famous father David and sets out to consolidate the kingdom’s gains to turn Israel from a backwater military state into a real kingdom. The reading omits 1 Kings 3:6, where Solomon retells a bit of his family story and how he came to be king. The author of 1 Kings tells us how Solomon would offer sacrifices to the Lord at heterodox sanctuaries. The scene, which unfolds in this reading, takes place at one of those “high places,” called Gibeon. Likely after a day of many animal sacrifices, the Lord appears to Solomon in a dream.

The Bargain

Without any preamble, the Lord tells Solomon, “Ask what I shall give you.” Or to put in Disneyish: “You have one wish. Ask whatever you will and I will grant your one request!” It might be worth asking why the Lord would offer anyone, including Solomon, such an opportunity. I think the Lord is simultaneously showing his faithfulness to the son of David and testing his devotion. It would be like the Lord to kill two birds with one stone.

Humility First

Notably, Solomon does not begin with a wish, but a story. He recounts the Lord’s faithfulness to David, which is manifest in the fact of his son Solomon’s reign. Solomon knows how to show a little gratitude where it is due. He is not hedging or avoiding the question, but royally responding to the True King with appropriate reverence. Then he acknowledges his own feebleness as “a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in” (1 Kgs 3:7). The thing about going out and coming in is a biblical word picture for childhood and old age. Moses himself talks about his old age as preventing him from “going out and coming in” (see Deut 31:2), a kind of reversion to childhood. Though Solomon probably received the best in ancient Israelite education as the favored son of the king, he acknowledges his deficiency before the Lord and the awesome responsibility with which he will be entrusted: to reign over God’s own people as king. Solomon knows what true humility is all about—not silly self-abasing, self-deprecating mud-wallowing, but knowing and doing your role, conscious of your limitations. He does not insult himself, but realizes that he needs to depend upon the Lord for success.

Solomon’s Two-Fold Wish

Now that Solomon has recounted the Lord’s faithfulness and acknowledged his own weakness, he is ready to make his request. He asks not for fame and riches, but for a “heart of hearing” (lev shomea‘). Usually this phrase is translated as “an understanding mind” (1 Kgs 3:9 RSV) or something like that, which is fine, but sometimes the woodenly-literal is actually more poetic. Notably, his request comes with a purpose clause attached, “in order to judge your people, to discern between good and evil.”

From a Catholic theological perspective, Solomon’s request is spot on. He’s asking for the virtue of prudence and the gift of wisdom. Sometimes we put these two things together because they are so close, but terminology aside, Solomon knows what he’s up against: a huge responsibility that he might not be able to fulfill without divine help. He also knows what he needs: the wisdom to make good decisions every day. He knows that his decisions, his judgments, will impact the lives of many other people and even the course of history. Anyone would need God’s help!

Other Wish-Encounters

While Solomon’s special chance at a single God-granted wish might seem like a singularity, St. Thomas Aquinas got his shot too. One time when he was praying in the chapel, he went into ecstasy, started levitating in front of the altar, and found himself face-to-face with a talking crucifix. Reportedly, Jesus asked him, “What reward do you want?” St. Thomas, as a good theologian should, responded “Nothing other than you, Lord.” Fortunately, both Solomon and St. Thomas gave the right answer, but there is a kind of anti-example. You might remember the gospel story where Herod offers his step-daughter “whatever you wish” and she asks for the head of John the Baptist, who had publicly criticized as unlawful Herod’s marriage to Herodias, his brother’s ex-wife. Demanding the death of a saint is not a great idea, but not everyone gives the right answer when presented with such a tempting prospect of a free wish.

So what can we do with Solomon’s wish? We’re not likely to get a God-sent wish-for-anything package anytime soon. But I think we can put ourselves in Solomon’s shoes and ask ourselves, “What would I wish for?” Given the opportunity, a lot of things would present themselves to our minds. However, Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:21) and “out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Our answer to the question reveals the desires of our heart. What would you ask for?


44 posted on 07/27/2014 9:09:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Scripture Speaks: Kingdom of Heaven

 

Today, Jesus teaches about the kingdom of heaven in parables that are so clear, even the apostles understand them.

Gospel (Read Mt 13:44-52)

The Gospel reading gives us another cluster of parables about the kingdom of heaven, adding to an unusually high number in just one chapter. The first two are very similar. In one, the kingdom is compared to a “treasure buried in a field.” The one who finds the treasure immediately recognizes its great value, so he hides it again, for safe-keeping, and “out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” He is thrilled with the prospect of the riches the treasure will bring him. Knowing its value, he has no trouble selling all his other possessions. Nothing he currently owns is worth more than the treasure in that field. In the next parable, a merchant is out searching for fine pearls. He finds one of staggering quality; he, too, “goes and sells all he has and buys it.” He knows that the pearl of great price will more than compensate him for whatever losses he has to count. What is the message here?

The comparison Jesus makes between the kingdom of heaven and great earthly treasure helps us understand that the call to repentance and conversion is worth whatever we have to give up in order to respond to it. Jesus is not talking specifically about selling all our possessions in order to follow Him, but He is making it clear that we always get more than we give up in discipleship. Some of us are called to literal poverty in order to follow our vocation; all of us are called to self-renunciation in our vocation as His disciples. If we are honest, our love of self is even greater than our love of our stuff (we love the stuff because we love ourselves). These parables remind us that the treasure of attaining the kingdom of heaven will dwarf our “losses” along the way. Because we are such earthbound dust, we are vulnerable to forgetting this. We need all the reminders we can get.

The last parable in our reading returns to the idea expressed in an earlier one about wheat and weeds (Mt 13:24-30). In this one, the kingdom of heaven is “like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.” When the fishing expedition ends, the good fish of the haul are separated from the bad. Jesus says this final evaluation is how “it will be at the end of the age.” It is an image of the final judgment. The emphasis here, as in the earlier parable, is that, for a time, the good and bad are all mixed in together. The kingdom of heaven, which is the Church on earth, will have both good and bad. When we see this, we need to have confidence that a just rendering will one day take place. This keeps our attention on ourselves, making sure we are ready for it, and not on our neighbor, whom we are tempted to suspect isn’t. That decision is, fortunately, not ours to make.

In a rare moment, Jesus then asks the disciples, “Do you understand all these things?” We are so used to them not understanding that perhaps we are surprised by their unqualified “yes.” It is easy to second-guess them, isn’t it? Did they really get it, or were they just saving face? Jesus doesn’t quibble with them. He goes on to announce, “anyone instructed in the kingdom of heaven [He uses the word “scribe” for this] is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” This can sound mysterious, but Jesus is simply saying that the apostles, in preaching the Gospel to the world, will use truths from both the Old Covenant, revealed in the Old Testament, and from the New Covenant, revealed in Jesus. Often, they will be the same, as we will see in several of our other readings.

Possible response: Lord Jesus, help me remember that following You is the pearl of great price, worth more than all my distractions.

First Reading (Read 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12)

In this reading, we find an example of a man who understood that the greatest treasure a man can have is one that makes him rich in goodness, not possessions. Solomon had just ascended to the throne of his father, David. He was humbled by the responsibility of governing God’s people. When God said to him, “Ask something of Me, and I will give it to you,” Solomon asked for the wisdom he new it would take (and knew he didn’t have) to govern with understanding and justice. The request pleased God, because Solomon had not asked anything for himself. The self-renunciation of his request showed him to be a man who longed for the pearl of great price (in this case, wisdom). For him, that had more value than anything temporal.

For us, this is an “old” treasure from the storeroom of Israel’s covenant with God, very much like the “new” treasure of Jesus’ wise parables.

Possible response: Heavenly Father, I want to desire Your wisdom as deeply as Solomon did.

Psalm (Read Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130)

This psalm is another “old” treasure from the storeroom of the Old Covenant. The entire psalm, the longest in Scripture, is about the riches of God’s Word. The psalmist knows the same truth that Jesus taught in His parables: “The law of Your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” The psalmist loves God’s Word because it “sheds light, giving understanding to the simple,” just as Solomon understood. Because of the great power of God’s Word, the psalmist loves His commands “more than gold, however fine.”

These two readings help us see that Jesus, in His parables, was often teaching an old truth in a new form. Some of God’s people had become dull of hearing; the parables help them (and us) to stay awake and think.

Possible response: The psalm is, itself, a response to the other lectionary readings. Read it prayerfully as your own.

Second Reading (Read Rom 8:28-30)

St. Paul helps us understand why the kingdom of heaven is the pearl of great price. To live in its light is to perceive ourselves and everything in our lives in an entirely new way (this is what Jesus meant by the “new” from the householder’s storeroom). In His kingdom, we recognize that God is always at work for good in the lives of those who love Him. That is because God has always had a plan for us: He gave us a destiny before we even existed (a “pre-destiny”). His purpose in creating us is to conform us to the image of His Son. To accomplish it, He will justify us (cleanse us of all our sin) and glorify us (make us like divinity).

What man, knowing that this is what possessing the kingdom of heaven will mean for him, would not, with joy, renounce anything and everything that might keep him from it?

Possible response: Heavenly Father, when I see Your plan so clearly expressed here, I wonder why I ever bother with worry or fear.


45 posted on 07/27/2014 9:10:42 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 27, 2014 >> 17th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Romans 8:28-30

View Readings
Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130
Matthew 13:44-52

Similar Reflections
 

GOD'S VOMITING

 
"When he found one really valuable pearl, he went back and put up for sale all that he had and bought it." —Matthew 13:46
 

Many people don't want to put all their eggs into one basket. So they become "Christians" but still keep one foot in the world. This way, if Jesus isn't real, at least they haven't wasted their whole lives for Him. However, if Jesus is the meaning of life, they're at least church members, without losing the "fun" of the world.

This is the most common approach to Christianity in America. It makes Jesus feel like throwing up (Rv 3:15-16). Jesus died on the cross for us. He poured out every drop of blood and breathed His last breath for us. As we kneel before the crucified Jesus, we realize that it is sacrilegious to give Him anything less than everything.

The kingdom of God is like a buried treasure or a precious pearl (Mt 13:44-46). The cost of discipleship is everything. We may not have much, but we each have an all — and that all is what we must give. The first commandment is: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind" (Lk 10:27).

 
Prayer: Father, "give Your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge Your people and to distinguish right from wrong" (1 Kgs 3:9).
Promise: "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His decree." —Rm 8:28
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Good Shepherd, risen Lord, and true God! Alleluia!

46 posted on 07/27/2014 9:24:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
St. Joseph, guardian of the Infant Jesus, we pray, PROTECT THE UNBORN!

Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus,
Guido Reni (c. 1635)


47 posted on 07/27/2014 9:39:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2014-07-27-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


48 posted on 08/03/2014 1:55:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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