Learn more about St. Ignatius: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=56
7-31-2017 Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest Gospel Mt 13:31-35
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “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.”
The seed of God’s word is planted in our hearts when we are formed in the womb, but it takes nurturing and care for it to grow. When it does, it blossoms into a beautiful bush of love, joy, and happiness. Have you allowed your seed to grow in your heart? How much true joy do you have in your life? True joy does not depend on possessions, positions, or status. It can only come from a heart that is blooming with the love of God!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for not allowing the seed you planted in my heart to wither and die. Since I opened my ears, my mind, and my heart to you it has grown wild and I am filled with your love and joy. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/073017.cfm
Jesus said to his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Jesus is telling us that Heaven is the greatest prize we can find. We cannot buy it but if we give up all that we have we can find it. Have you found the pearl of great price yet? If you have found Jesus and follow Him you have.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are the pearl of great price and I rejoice that I found you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Lord, I love your commands.
Learn more about St. Martha: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=79
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072917.cfm
Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Are you a Martha? Jesus was telling Martha not to let her work overtake the time she needs to spend with Him. We all have some of Martha and Mary in us, but we cannot let one dominate. Our lives revolve around home, family, work and God. By putting God first and keeping Him in our hearts, we have the best of both worlds. We balance Martha and Mary.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I live as a Martha AND a Mary. Keeping you central in my life, but not forgetting the things I need to do in this world. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072817.cfm
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Has any of these happened to you? The Evil One is always lurking, waiting for doubt or trials to interfere with what the Lord has planted in your heart. If you have learned to turn away from his voice you will hear, understand and bear fruit. And when you do, you will know joy and freedom that you never knew existed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, my joy is completed in you. Thank you for the seed that you planted so long ago, left it there and watered with your word. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072717.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.”
Do you have eyes but cannot see, ears but not hear? If you know the word of God but do not believe or follow it, then you cannot. The Disciples listened, learned and obeyed, you should also.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I give thanks that I opened my eyes and ears to see you and hear you. I wish others would do the same and live.
Glory and praise forever!
Learn more about Sts. Joachim and Anne: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=22
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072617.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.”
We who follow Christ are called to be seed planters. When we do, they may not all fall on fertile soil and take root, but when we do, we are following what Our Lord wants us to do. Plant the seeds of truth and do not worry if you see fruit or not. You may never know when or where the roots take hold, but be assured that you are doing the will of Our Lord. Are you a seed planter?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for a chance to spread your word. I do not always see the fruit of what I have done, but you do and that is all that matters. In Jesus’ holy name, I praise you, Amen.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
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/072517.cfm
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
In the sad reality of today’s world, many people think that they deserve the best, the most, anything they want, without paying a price. Jesus asks the two brothers If they are willing to drink the same cup that He will. They said yes without knowing what it was, but knowing there was a price to pay. The concept of those who want to be first must become a slave is totally lost, serving others is not something many people think they need to do. If they would but heed the word of Jesus they would understand and help change the world as St. James did. Do you?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, serving others brings so much joy to my life. If others would truly serve you, so many problems in our world would solve themselves. In Jesus’ holy name I give you honor and praise, Amen.
Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.