Saturday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time/ July 24, 2021
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. The parable was all about the Kingdom of Heaven which may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy sowed weeds. When the crop grows and bear fruit, the weeds also grew. But the Master did not order to pull up the weeds for they might uproot the wheat along with the weeds. He let them grow together until harvest. Then, in harvest they separated the wheat and burned the weeds.
We are recipients of the seeds sowed by God. However, we cannot deny also that weeds come in our life because of the devil. This is the reason why we could see people doing not the will of God but rather the desires of the evil one. The evil one works so hard in order to lure and snare God’s children. He tried so hard in order to separate God and His children. And it is already happening today. But the Lord does not worry. He knows that there will be time for a harvest. He even gave time for us, those who are planted weeds by the enemy, to grow, be converted, and repent. He knows that there will always be enough time for us to realize and come back to Him. And so, we also do not need to worry. We just need now to see and examine ourselves if we are also doing what God desires for us. We just need to follow the Lords heart and remain faithful to Him always.
Abba, thank You for the time you gave to us. Thank You for Your perseverance for us. May we who realized this love from You, remain faithful with You for ever. Through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son who lives with You in unity of the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.
Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time/ July 23, 2021
Gospel: Matthew 13:18-23
Friends, today is Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time. In the light of the week’s emphasis on the Lord as a Good Shepherd who provides, today we reflect on the gift of the Ten Commandments which the Lord gave or planted as seeds unto us, each of us. How are we welcoming these seeds, or the commandments of the Lord in our lives? Or How are we receiving it in our hearts; are we receiving it like seed sown in a pathway in which we only hear the word without understanding it? Or Are we receiving it like a seed sown on a rocky ground of which we only hear the word, enjoy for a while, but has taken no root and lasts just for a time? And when a little persecution comes, we immediately run away? Or are we receiving it, like a seed sown among thorns of which because of worldly anxiety and other unnecessary things choke the word and did not bear fruit.? Or are we receiving it like a seed sown on a rich soil of which it produces fruits, various fruits, hundred, sixty, or forty-fold?
Friends, the commandments which we heard from our first reading today, are not a set of oppressive requirements. No! They are a precious gift that the Lord is planting unto us. These commandments of the Lord reveals, that He (Our God) really has a true concern for all of us, His sheep. And as a Good Shepherd we are guided by the Lord with these seeds so that we will be away from any danger, especially from the danger of eternal damnation. With these seeds (Commandments) the Lord is guiding us on the right path, on the right way to go, so that we can have a good pasture. And So, these commandments are our protection and moral guidance. And With these commandments God is giving us a clear basic moral principles, so that we can know and be aware of what we should do or what we should not do. We should not think of these commandments as oppressive demands. And we need to keep these commandments that we received as seeds from the Lord. If you remember the conversation of Jesus and the Rich young man. Jesus told, “If you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments” (Mt. 19:1) – He is referring to the commandments God gave to Moses (10). And in order for us to remember easily these commandments, Jesus summarized these in two: that is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Of course, keeping these seeds is very challenging! Because, there are times that our fallen nature is attracted to sin. We do mistakes! We are fragile. We fall into the same sins. And it would really a battle for us. What we will follow, or what to decide upon. But, This really depends on how the way we receive it. It depends on us.
Our hearts are always recipient with God’s word. What we need to do is to make every effort to welcome and nurture the seed in our hearts, by prayer, reflection, good works, charity, and love towards our brothers and sisters.
Friends, we may ask ourselves: What kind of soil am I now? Am I ready to receive the commandments and nurture it in my life? Am I a rich soil? Or Am I one of those soil which cannot bear much fruit?
Let us receive the commandments of the Lord with a grateful heart. Let us remember that these are our guide in the way to eternal life. let us together grow in our spiritual life as the Lord also planted the seed of faith in us. Amen.
Abba, thank You for planting various kinds of seeds in our life. May we who receive it grow in holiness and love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ YOur Son who lives with YOu in unity of the HOly SPirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.