May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

Sts. Joachim and Anne

Learn more about Sts. Joachim and Anne: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=22

 Link to today’s reading: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072616.cfm

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.” 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.”

Jesus is pretty clear here about what will happen to people who unite with the evil one. Sounds pretty nasty to me. Will the angels collect you or leave you for Christ? Who do you unite with?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always sow the seeds of your word and truth. I want to spend eternity with you, not in the fiery furnace. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

St. James the Apostle

Learn more about St.James: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=59

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072516.cfm

Brothers and sisters: 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. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we too believe and therefore speak, knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

We accept Jesus freely, but we are afflicted by this world. The death that is always after us. The world would like to see us give up life in Christ and accept the death they have for us. By taking the Body of Christ we have the living Christ within us. Do you want life or death?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us Christ so we may accept life in you. In His holy name, I give you thanks and praise, Amen.

Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072416.cfm

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

“How much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Why do we think that we earn what we get by our own effort? Our heavenly Father gives us all we need, but we do not recognize His gifts. When we ask, we receive, do you ask? Do you realize the good gifts that God gives to you? Do you offer thanks for them?

 Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the gifts you have given to me. In Jesus’ holy name I offer you praise and thanksgiving, Amen.

 Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072316.cfm

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.”’”

Weeds and wheat grow together. But what grows is dramatically different. One feeds and one kills. Wheat is used to make food to nourish our body. Weeds can overgrow wheat and suffocate the young plants. We have good and bad growing in our communities. If we are not vigilant, the bad will suffocate the good and kill the young growth. Where are you in the garden? Are you wheat or a weed?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to fertilize the good in this word and nourish it to develop strong roots. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

St. Mary Magdalene

Learn more about St. Mary Magdalene: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=83

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072216.cfm

The Bride says:

On my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves–

I sought him but I did not find him.

I will rise then and go about the city;

in the streets and crossings I will seek Him whom my heart loves.

I sought him but I did not find him.

The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city:

Have you seen him whom my heart loves? I had hardly left them

when I found him whom my heart loves.

What a beautiful reading for St. Mary Magdalene. She truly found Him whom her heart loves. Have you? He is the one we search for, even when we do not know it. He is the one we long for even when we do not know it. End your search, seek the Lord and He will find you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for letting me find you when I searched for you. Thank you for being there, waiting for me. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072116.cfm

The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see.Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.

“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.”

The Disciples understood more than the average person. While most times they still did not “get it”, they had seen what Jesus did, they experience all the wonders and healings that he performed. They heard what we do not hear. The truth. We have the truth presented to us, we see and have experienced Jesus in our lives, but many people still refuse to believe. What about you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe the truth you speak, I hear your word and see your miracles. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you thanks and pray Amen.

With you is the fountain of life, O Lord.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072016.cfm

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Are you a seed planter? Do you plant the seed of God’s word in the hearts of those you meet? Jesus is not asking us to force His word on others. He just wants us to plant that seed of His word. It is up to the person to receive the seed, water and nurture what they hear. How many seeds have you planted?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I try to plant your seed where the ground is not very fertile. Give me the words to say and the people who need to hear you most. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

 I will sing of your salvation.

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