Daily Reflection – Jul 23, 2017
Sunday 23 July 2017
First Reading:Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Lord, you are good and forgiving.
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Second Reading:Romans 8:26-27
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-43
Today’s Note: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. (Romans 8:26)
St. Paul spends much of the eighth chapter of his Letter to the Romans teaching about the Holy Spirit. Yet for all of Paul’s words, the Holy Spirit can often be an afterthought in our daily lives.
What does the Spirit do? Paul says that the Spirit is our source of life (Romans 8:11, 13). He says that the Spirit lives in us and shows us how to live for God (8:4-6, 9). He says that the Spirit reminds us that we are God’s children (8:16). Best of all, he says that the Holy Spirit “comes to the aid of our weakness” (8:26).
We all have weaknesses, don’t we? One weakness we face is the way we respond to suffering or hardship. Temptation, sickness, addiction, division in families, financial problems, natural disaster—any of these challenges can leave us fearful and overwhelmed if we try to face them on our own. But with the help of the Spirit, we can start to see things from God’s perspective and find the strength we need to keep moving forward.
Another weakness can be our struggle with prayer. The Spirit loves to help us pray! He helps us speak to God from our hearts and not just through rote prayers. He gives us a desire to pray for our loved ones. And he gives us the reassurance that our prayers have been heard.
It’s easy to think that it’s “just us”—that we are doing it all by ourselves. But this is just not true. Every holy thought that we have and every loving action that we take have their origin in the Holy Spirit. Every day, in good times and bad, the Spirit is with us, teaching us to ask God for what we need and filling us with grace.
So when you find the strength to push onward in a trying time, a renewed desire to love people, or a new insight into how to solve a problem, rejoice! It’s the Holy Spirit coming to your aid.
“Come, Holy Spirit!”