Daily Reflection – Jul 28, 2018
Saturday 28 July 2018
First Reading: JER 7:1-11
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
PS 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A, 11
Gospel Reading: MT 13:24-30
Today’s Note: Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“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.”‘”
Reform your ways and your deeds. (Jeremiah 7:3)
Picture someone crying out, “Repent!” at the door of the local Catholic church. It isn’t Lent, you might think; why is this stranger telling me to change my life? And who is he to tell me what to do anyway?
Jewish people entering the Temple in Jerusalem probably felt equally disturbed when the prophet Jeremiah stood in front of the Temple and told them to repent and change. They probably felt even more disturbed when they heard Jeremiah predict that if they didn’t change, God’s presence would depart from the Temple and leave the people exposed to destruction and invasion.
Jeremiah’s message was twofold: “Reform your deeds” and “Reform your ways.”
Yes, our behavior—our deeds—matters. What we do, how we speak to our family, and whether we love our neighbor—all these things draw us closer or divide us, both from one another and from God.
But if we were to examine our behavior, something even more important would happen—we would see our ways. We would learn what was going on inside our hearts. God wants to address this “heart level” as well. We may try to stop doing the wrong things, but unless we change our hearts, true change will remain elusive. We will find it harder to sense God’s presence in us; the barrier of our sins will grow only stronger.
That’s where repentance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation come in. When you examine your conscience, God asks you to examine your actions and your motivations and desires. You might see that your motivation is good, but that your “action” was not a good reflection of what you intended. Or you might realize that your motivation isn’t as pure as you thought. Either way, as you confess, his grace is there to heal you and change you. Instead of leaving you, he’ll come into your heart even more deeply!
So turn to the Lord. Ask him to help you examine your heart. He knows which motives in your heart need to be renewed, and he is ready to help you make that happen.
Remember, repentance and reform take time. God is infinitely patient. If you work with him, both your deeds and your ways will change!
“Thank you, Lord, for your patience and your love for me!”