Tuesday, July 28 ~ Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43 Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Meditation: It has been said: “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny” (Charles Reade). Since we were children we have been reminded by our parents that “you reap what you sow” – if you study hard you will learn well and earn good grades; if you work out regularly and practice you will be a good athlete; if you nourish your faith life with scripture and prayer, do the will of God by living the Gospel you will be a worthy disciple of Christ. Folks, there will be a judgement day for each of us. On that day of judgment each will reap what he or she has sown in this life. And so it would be prudent to look at another Gospel, where Jesus welcomes those into eternal life given the criteria Christ said He would judge us by: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35-36). And so, once again, it comes down to the challenge of living the Gospel: “be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). For if we choose to not live the Gospel, how can we expect to attain eternal life with Christ?
Prayer: 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. Amen.
Contemplation: Today’s Gospel makes us think, and rightly so, about where each of us are in relation to being followers of Jesus. And so each of us need to make an assessment today by asking: Am I an authentic disciple of Christ? Am I a half-hearted disciple? Am I disciple at all? Be honest with yourself in answering; lying to yourself will not help. At many points on our life’s journey we need to assess our faith life and our faithfulness to Christ and His teachings. If your life in Christ – your discipleship – is not where it needs to be, seize this moment to begin anew, starting with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are all guilty of straying from Christ. The beauty is that Christ always takes us back; His invitation – “follow me” – still stands. RSVP to Jesus by saying “yes.”