“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.’” (MT 13: 36)
We are also Our Lord’s disciples. We can always like “his disciples, approached him and said, ‘explain to us the parable.’” He loves us and leads us, because He wants us to be close to Him.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“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.’” (MT 13: 31-32)
When we allow “the Kingdom of heaven” to become full-grown in us, we can expect many miracles because it is not about us and our possibilities, but about God and His Kingdom. Our Lord takes care of us and of our growth, and He knows how we will serve others.
“The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?’” (JN 6: 7-9)
Philip and Andrew approached the same problem in totally different ways: Philip found it impossible and Andrew found something. Our Lord can make a miracle from nothing, but He wants to see us engaged.
“A great prophet has risen in our midst. God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“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.’” (MT 13: 28-30)
This is one of my favorite parables because it is about our human condition and our dream about being perfect. The enemy “came and sowed weeds,” and we are a mix of good wheat and bad weeds. Our idea is to “pull them up,” but it could be dangerous for the wheat, so Our Lord said: “let them grow together until harvest.” He knows perfectly what comes from Him and what comes from the enemy. We need to “humbly welcome the word that has been planted” in us, to meditate on it, and to follow it because only His word “is able to save our souls,” not ourselves and our “perfect” lives.
“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am your Master; I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.” (JER 3: 14-15)
We should remember priests in our prayers. They are very important in our lives—our confessors and our pastors, celebrants of the Holy Mass and preachers, men of prayer and service. I used to call them “men in black, protecting the world from all the scum of the universe,” like the movie title. We desperately need “shepherds after Our Lord’s own heart,” and all the time we need to ask Our Lord to appoint over us these shepherds.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (MT 13: 16-17)
We will see in Heaven how really blessed we were because our eyes and our ears were able to listen to God’s word and look at the Blessed Sacrament. The privilege of the Apostles was given also to us. Whenever we participate in the Holy Mass we receive both blessings.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.” (2 COR 4: 7-10)
This is about our weakness and God’s power; these are not in opposition, mutually exclusive, but a meeting point: “we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” Our limits and our weaknesses are not to humiliate us but to expose God’s surpassing power of love.
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins; You will show faithfulness to Jacob, and grace to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.” (MI 7: 18-20)
This is our God, Who “does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us.” His first reaction to our weakness and fragility is to “cast into the depths of the sea all our sins.” We are His beloved children, and He wants all the best for us.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.”
“‘Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.’ He said to them in reply, ‘An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.’”
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you” because it will be easier for us to believe or to recognize our vocation, or to know what to do with our job, school for our children, or to stay abroad or to go back to our country. But He is with us in our churches, in the Blessed Sacrament and in other sacraments. We need only to ask for help. And He helps.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.” (EPH 2: 14-16)
When our marriages suffer from a lack of understanding, misinterpretation or looking for others’ faults, we need go back immediately to Our Lord, “for He is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity.” He made you one by the sacrament of marriage, and He can unite you again. Ask Him for help.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)