I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, July 23; Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:24-43

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

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

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

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world. Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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What is a parable? It’s a short story that imparts moral lessons about life which we can use for us to become more effective followers of God. 

Jesus spoke in parables because He wants to convey moral teaching to His disciples. These parables are not only for the disciples to reflect on. This is also for us to ponder and contemplate.

The first parable is about a man who sowed good seeds, and then while all were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds. The owner just let both the good seeds and weeds grow side by side. However, during harvest time the weeds were pulled first, after that they were tied in bundles and were burned. After which they carefully gathered the wheat and they put it into the owner’s barn.

If our lives will end now, where will we end up? Would it be in hell to burn like the weeds? Or would it be in heaven like the wheat that ended up in the owner’s barn.

The second parable is about the tiny mustard seeds that were sowed in the field. It rose like a big tree where birds find rest. When we were baptized the seed of our catholic faith was also sowed by Jesus into us. Has it risen as big as a mustard seed? Have we become instrument of Jesus’ compassion and mercy in words and in deeds? Have we been a safe refuge for those who are in distress?

The third parable is about the yeast that influenced a mass of dough to rise. Have we become yeast for those who are not properly acquainted with Jesus? For example we introduce Jesus to them in that process we become the yeast that influenced the growth of their faith in Jesus.

These three parables invite you to self-reflection. How are you as followers of Jesus? Are you like the weeds or the wheat?

Is your faith now as big as the mustard seed where your brothers and sisters in faith can take refuge and solace?

Have you already become yeast to your family and friends by way of helping them know Jesus in a much deeper sense? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

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