“But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
Our hearts were created by God, and only when we are totally devoted to Him can we be fulfilled and happy. Our hearts, to be “generous and good,” need to be in touch with “the word.” Our Lord, when we listen to Him, can change our hearts because He loves us and wants the best for us.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But you, man of God, avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 TM 6: 11-12)
St. Paul reminds us of how important our faith is. Possessing objects and “love for money” can’t satisfy our hearts; only relationships with other persons, love of God and “eternal life, to which we are called,” are the right answers to our dignity and our identity—persons created with love by God.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.” (EPH 4: 11-13)
They had different missions, different tasks and different peoples, but the same goal and mission: “to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ.” Today we have the same mission, the same tasks and the same goal, but this time they are based on us and on our response. As mothers and fathers and as professionals and volunteers, we take care of building up the Body of Christ.
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Beloved: I am writing you, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” (1 TM 3: 14-15)
“I am writing you . . . [because] you should know how to behave in the household of God.” The whole Bible is concerned with helping us to grow in our relationship with Our Lord: “how to behave,” how to pray, how to praise God and how to be a member of “the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.”
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life, you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you, arise!’ The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.” (LK 7: 12-15)
How deeply Our Lord understood this mother: “when the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her.” At this moment Jesus was in the same situation: “the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.” And He knew how difficult it would be for His blessed Mother to see Him on the Cross. But Our Lord also knew that death would be defeated, and we would live forever with Him because God’s love is stronger, and His love triumphs forever.
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all.” (1 TM 2: 5-6)
As God’s children, we are invited to spend an eternity with Him in Heaven. The only way we can get there is God’s merciful love and “the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all.” He is the center of our lives; He is “one mediator between God and men,” and He is our hope and our life.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.” (1 TM 1: 15-16)
We are loved not because we are perfect, but because we are limited and weak: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Our Lord doesn’t look at us with reservations, but with “full acceptance,” because He created us and knows our potential and possibilities. He is patient and can wait for the fruits from “whoever loves Him [and] will keep His word.”
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (LK 2: 34-35)
God, Who is love and Who gave Himself for our salvation, knows that Heaven’s economy is very simple: heart for heart, life for life. Our Lady’s heart “a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,” and Our Lord’s “is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted.” On a micro scale, it happens every day within parents who give their lives to protect their children and to help them grow.
“Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary; without dying you won the martyr’s crown beneath the Cross of the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (JN 3: 13-15)
The sign of torment, abandonment and disgrace has become a sign of salvation. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Instead of the symbol of the serpent, Our Lord came “down from heaven” to die for us, “so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” His life for ours. “We adore you, o Christ…”
“We adore you, O. Christ, and we bless you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (COL 3: 1-3)
Created by God, Who is in Heaven, “where Christ is seated at the right hand of God,” and with the cooperation of our parents, we belong more to heaven than to earth. We should “seek what is above”; we should “think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” Every moment of prayer, every thought directed to Our Lord and every kind of gift of selves brings us closer to our Home.
“Rejoice and leap for joy! Your reward will be great in heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)