July 26, 2014

The Gospel Today

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Matthew 13:24-30

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Nathaniel Pagalan):

Chiaroscuro is a technique in painting where it utilizes, contrasts and manipulates lights and shadows producing stunning and fascinating works of art. Artists using this technique place the point of greater light on a central figure and darkening other elements or characters. It is quite interesting how such technique creates, evokes and even intensifies characters or actions as they are portrayed in a particular painting. The product is a masterpiece. It is believed that this technique was first started by Leonardo da Vinci, later on developed by Caravaggio and finally mastered by Rembrant. The Nightwatch, Two Scholars Disputing, and the Prodigal Son are among the more famous paintings of Rembrant using this technique called chiaroscuro or the play of light and shadow.

People often say that art imitates life. And this technique in art called chiaroscuro gives us a glimpse of some truths in life. Life is full of contrasts. Life is full of opposites. And it is in the contrasts, the opposites where we are able to grasp, understand and capture what life really is. Oftentimes, it is in the interplay of opposites – experiences of light and shadow – where beauty is formed. It is in the interaction of opposites – good and bad experiences – where character is built.  It is in the interchange of opposites – experiences of death and new life – where glory is achieved.

In our Gospel reading today, it seems like a crazy idea to permit the weeds to grow along with the wheat but it is interesting to notice why the Sower allowed this to happen. If we look closely at our very lives, it is in the experiences of opposites where we become fully the persons that we are. In a very mundane sense, we are only able to taste and differentiate what sweetness is if we are able to taste what bitterness is. Our experiences of contrasts and opposites give us an insight of a much deeper appreciation of what life is all about. It is in learning to live with the tensions and conflicts that we grow and become the very person God desires of us.

We pray that God will give us the grace of openness and patience to be able to learn to live with experiences of contrasts and opposites. We beg for the grace to learn from experiences of tensions and conflicts so that we may be able to create and paint life’s greatest masterpiece.

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