Learn more about St. Ignatius: https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=56
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/073118.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.”
What are you sowing? Weeds or Good Seed? When the harvest comes, you will be held accountable to the Son of Man for what you sow. How will you answer?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I work hard to sow good seed for you. May your angels guide me when I falter, in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/073018.cfm
The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth; wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water. I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on. A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus: Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Parath; there hide it in a cleft of the rock. Obedient to the LORD’s command, I went to the Parath and buried the loincloth. After a long interval, the LORD said to me: Go now to the Parath and fetch the loincloth which I told you to hide there. Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth from the place where I had hid it. But it was rotted, good for nothing! Then the message came to me from the LORD: Thus says the LORD: So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot, the great pride of Jerusalem. This wicked people who refuse to obey my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and follow strange gods to serve and adore them, shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing. For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins, so had I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD; to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty. But they did not listen.
A very graphic way of making a point. We are these people who should be this close to the Lord, but we let the world and the many idols it proposes get in the way. Rotting does not seem like an attractive way to die, staying close to the Lord is easier and more beautiful. How are you living your life? Are you rotting where you live?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to be as close to you as a loin cloth. I want to cling to you and share in the beauty you proclaim. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072918.cfm
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. 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?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Doubt – the root of so many problems caused when Jesus taught. They did not trust enough to believe He could do what was needed for people. They doubted His powers. We have seen time and again what He can do, so we have no cause to doubt. But many still do, many claim He no longer performs miracles, He does not provide. If you are honest with yourself, you will see what He does every day in your life. Do you believe or doubt? Just like the young man, if you give what you have He will return it a hundred-fold or more. Doubt? Trust? What do you lack?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know you will always provide what I need when I need it! I doubted once, but no longer! In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072818.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.”‘”
If we are not cautious the evil one will come and sow seeds of doubt, fear and hate in our hearts. If we plant the good seeds on solid ground, we can pick out the “weeds” as they grow. We will recognize the evil for what it is and pluck it out. Do you know the weeds from the wheat? Have you planted the word of God in your heart?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, pulling out the weeds was a hard, painful process and I can now recognize when a sprout comes back. With your help, it is plucked out and burned in the fire of your love. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072718.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.”
This does not need much explanation. Jesus tells us what to watch for. We must guard the Word of God to be sure it is sown on rich soil, so it takes root and bears good fruit. The word of God must be multiplied and passed on to others and we can only do it if it first bears good fruit in us. What are you growing?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, May I always be receptive to your word and plant it in others. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Learn more about Sts. Joachim and Anne: https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=22
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072618.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 long to hear the word of God? You just have to pick up the Bible and you will have it! But you must open your heart, mind and soul to what He has to say. You must hear and be willing to be converted. Are you?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe in what you say and what you do, even if I do not always see it. I know you are always there. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!
With you is the fountain of life, O Lord.
Learn more about St. James: https://www.fraanciscanmedia.org/saint-james/
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072518.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.”
We have forgotten this important lesson these days. We think that if we get more attention, more money, more of everything we will be recognized for it. The world honors the things of the world. The Lord does not. He honors your heart and how you honor Him. What do you honor? Looking for first place or sitting in the dark, out of the spotlight?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to be last in the world and honored by you in eternity. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!
Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.