July 20, 2014

The Gospel Today

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13: 24-43

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“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.”’”

He proposed another parable to them.
“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.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he 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.”

Reflection (Sem. James Mendiola):

The wheat was harvested, the mustard seed grew, and the yeast leavened the bread. Which led me to the question how am I doing in terms of growth? Friends for me, today’s Gospel talks about my growth, my struggles, my potentials and my process.

Like the wheat that is expected to bear fruit, I try to grow in truth and all good things. But as I grow there would be troubles, distractions and other things that would limit my progress. The wheat in the parable reminds me of my constant struggle to grow in this world that has many distractions and troubles come our way that I have to live with and continue to struggle growing under God’s loving eyes.

The mustard seed reminds me of potential. My potential to become big, not only in financial or worldly standards but also through God’s eyes. Like the mustard seed that takes years to grow, I too must continually reach out and grow so that I could provide more to my surrounding.

Finally the yeast. Leavening bread takes time, especially in the olden days. The ingredients had to be mixed and folded and would be left for some time, which means a tedious process just to have something soft and sweet. This reminds me of life and how we often feel folded around. Life is where, I often find myself doing so many things, that there are days that I do not know what I’m supposed to be doing. But as trials come and time passes I found myself transformed.

People would always ask me, why stay in the seminary? It will take you a long time. It will cost you a lot. You will always be asked to reflect on the bad things that happened in your life. Yes, it will take a long time, but I’m hopeful I’ll change. It may cost a lot but I’ll know it would be worth it.  I may be always reflecting on our past and the bad things but I believe it will also bring the blessing that I was meant to receive in those times of hardships. Finally I stay because I chose to love, I am aware loving someone is tiring, but the person who loves never gets tired.  Be happy and love always.

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