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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Monday 7/27/2020

Reading 1 JER 13:1-11

The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth;
wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water.
I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on.
A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus:
Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing,
and go now to the Parath;
there hide it in a cleft of the rock.
Obedient to the LORD’s command, I went to the Parath
and buried the loincloth.
After a long interval, the LORD said to me:
Go now to the Parath and fetch the loincloth
which I told you to hide there.
Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth
from the place where I had hid it.
But it was rotted, good for nothing!
Then the message came to me from the LORD:
Thus says the LORD:
So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot,
the great pride of Jerusalem.
This wicked people who refuse to obey my words,
who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts,
and follow strange gods to serve and adore them,
shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing.
For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins,
so had I made the whole house of Israel
and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD;
to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty.
But they did not listen.

Responsorial Psalm DEUTERONOMY 32:18-19, 20, 21

R.     (see 18a)  You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R.     You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R.     You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R.     You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Alleluia JAS 1:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“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.

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Can You Make a Difference?

“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.” Matthew 13:31b-32

Too often we tend to feel as though our lives are not nearly as important as others.  We can often look to others who are far more “powerful” and “influential.”  We can tend to dream about being like them.  What if I had their money?  Or if I had their social status?  Or if I had their job?  Or was as popular as they are?  Too often, we fall into the trap of the “what ifs.”

This passage above reveals the absolute fact that God wants to use your life for great things!  The smallest seed becomes the largest bush.  This begs the question, “Do you feel like the smallest seed at times?”

It’s normal to feel insignificant at times and to wish we were “more.”  But this is nothing more than a worldly and erroneous daydream.  The truth is that each one of us is capable of making a HUGE difference in our world.  No, we may not make the nightly news or receive national awards of greatness, but in God’s eyes we have potential beyond what we could ever daydream about.

Put this in perspective.  What is greatness?  What does it mean to be transformed by God into the “largest of plants” as the mustard seed is?  It means we are given the incredible privilege to fulfill the exact, perfect and glorious plan God has for our lives.  It is this plan that will produce the best and most abundant eternal fruit.  Sure, we may not get the name recognition here on Earth.  But so what?!  Does that really matter?  When you are in Heaven will you be depressed that the world did not recognize you and your role?  Most certainly not.  In Heaven all that will matter is how holy you became and how completely you fulfilled the divine plan for your life.

Saint Mother Teresa often said, “We are called to be faithful, not successful.”  It is this fidelity to the will of God that matters.

Reflect, today, upon two things.  First, reflect upon your “littleness” before the mystery of God.  By yourself you are nothing.  But in that humility, reflect also upon the fact that when you live in Christ and in His divine will you are great beyond measure.  Strive for that greatness and you will be eternally blessed!

Lord, I know that without You I am nothing.  Without You my life has no meaning.  Help me to embrace Your perfect and glorious plan for my life and, in that plan, to achieve the greatness to which You call me.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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