The gospel reading in today’s liturgy is the familiar story about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, his home territory. It is the story of his not being able to accomplish very much because the people in his hometown recognized him and were unable to see beyond that fact. "Is this not the carpenter’s son?" "Where the did this man get all this?" The upshot of their skeptical attitude was that Jesus was unable to work many of the might deeds that he could elsewhere. Jesus response to this lack of faith was to simply recognize the truth that, as he says, "a prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house."
1. “You Are Anxious About Many Things” - It seems that things are moving faster all the time and that more and more things vie for my time. I serve as a chauffeur for the household, I spend a large part of my time accompanying the children for extracurricular activities, and people left and right want to talk to me. There is so much going on. Our culture almost demands that I do all these things. What is more, it seems at times like no one understands my dilemma. I am trying to do what is right, I am trying to be responsible, and it seems like no one else is. I identify myself with Martha, Lord, in a world which is so active and at times seems to fly by. Help me to make the right choices and to fulfill your will.
Today’s readings make me think of happiness, and joy, and gratitude. Have you ever had just a great day, one of those days where everything—or everything that matters—seems right, and sometimes even better than right? Days when the sun shines, it’s not too hot or cold, and it’s just great to be alive in the world that’s been given to us? I was thinking about these kinds of days when I read the readings for today. They are about radiance, joy, and thanks. Now, to be honest, life in the 21st century doesn’t often seem to give us abundant opportunities for joy. Sometimes we have to look for joy, and sometimes we have to look hard for it.
Matthew’s gospel contains a rare interpretation of a parable. When Jesus taught in parables, he typically required the listeners to ponder the stories on their own. (See Mt. 13: 13-14, 34-35). Here, the parable of the weeds among the wheat seemingly shows the patience of the Master of the field, who did not want the workers to pull the weeds prematurely lest they uproot the good wheat, too. However, Jesus chose to emphasize the end of the growing process, when weeds are collected and burned and the harvest of good seed is gathered in.
SAINT JOACHIM and SAINT ANNE
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
These names are given to the mother and father of the Blessed Virgin by a tradition dating back to the second century. By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though this document is not a historical source, nor the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings).
In this story everything is on a huge scale. Even the setting for the story is immense: it is the first mention of Jesus crossing the sea of Galilee, at the far side of which is a wide space where “a huge crowd” could gather. Jesus feeds the thousands. They not only have plenty, they have twelve baskets of bread left over.
It all speaks to us about immensity, about abundance: not the kind of abundance that comes from careful gathering and accounting (the people had come with no food); still less the kind that comes from defrauding one’s neighbours; but the abundance of God's providence.
“Lifting up his eyes, he saw the crowd...” (verse 5). It seems he wants us too to lift up our eyes, and not to live our lives by addition and subtraction, when he is able to multiply goodness towards us.
In today’s Gospel, Matthew has Jesus giving us another agricultural parable. Many in his audience would be people who worked the land. They would understand the dastardly trick that had been played on the landowner. Given all the effort and expense of sowing the good seed, to have it intentionally polluted with weeds, would be devastating.
In an applied meaning of the parable the landowner is the Lord. When he created “the field” he saw that “it was very good.” It’s really immaterial who was responsible for the weeds. But no one can question the fact that scattered among the faithful there are many immoral and unethical people.
The Indian members of different Congregations who are working in the General Administration (INDOGAT) met together for their Annual Body Meeting on 17 July, at Claretianum University premises. The non official association is known as INDOGAT which initiated in the year of 2016 and at the moment it has 92 registered members.
The XXIV Provincial Chapter of the Polish Province of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate began on 16th July in Warsaw in the Caritas Conference Center and will end on 25th July. It´s theme reads: Eucharist – the Source and Summit of Consecrated Life. Pallottine Sister – a Woman of Eucharist.
We ask you all to pray for its fruitfulness and our openness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Thank you.
The Chapter Members
In 1999 Pope John Paul II made her, along with St Catherine of Siena and Sister Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein), one of three co-patronesses of Europe.
Summary: St Bridget of Sweden, Religious. Born in Sweden about 1303; died at Rome on this day in 1373. A devoted wife and the mother of eight children, one of whom was also reputed a saint (Catherine of Sweden 1331-1381) though not canonised. After being widowed, Bridget founded a religious order (Bridgettines). Noted for her asceticism, her dedication to reform within the Church, and her lifelong mystical experience of Christ. Bridget of Sweden was canonised by Boniface IX in 1391.
John 20:1-2, 11-18
Modern Scripture scholarship has exposed a remarkably false tradition about Mary of Magdala. For many centuries Mary has been confused with the unnamed “sinful woman” who anointed Jesus’ feet in the home of the Pharisee (Luke 7) and was assumed to have been a prostitute. In fact, Mary is named in the Gospel of Luke in Chapter 8 as the woman from whom Jesus drove seven demons. Knowing today that all kinds of illnesses were ascribed to demonic possession, it is possible that Mary of Magdala was a woman with a very serious illness (mental or physical) who was healed by Jesus. Mary is attested to in all four of the Gospels as one of the women who supported the itinerant preaching of Jesus out of her personal wealth, and like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was greatly honored in the early Church. She has been called the Apostle to the apostles (first witness to the witnesses) based on the text from John’s Gospel that identifies her as the first person to whom Jesus revealed himself after the Resurrection.
The Sower by Jean Francois Millet
In our Gospel today Jesus is telling the parable of the “Sower and the Seed” to the crowd. Most of us are quite familiar with the story. The Sower is Christ. The seed is the Good News. And the soils are the minds and hearts of each of us.