FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION:
SIXTEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR
Weekday readings: Matthew 12: 38 to 13: 30: Themes: No more “sign” is needed or will be given but the “sign of Jonah,” the risen Jesus; whoever does the will of the Father is Jesus’ family; the seed of God’s word grows only in good ground; those who receive will get more; there will be weeds among the wheat until harvest time.
To receive the word of God with open and grateful hearts, going deep into the mysteries of faith. To live on a level so divine that our behavior cannot be explained except by the divine life of Christ within us.
Our faith: How many of these statements do you believe? And live?
Matthew 12: 38-42: The only sign Jesus promises is the “sign of Jonah,” his life visible in the members of his body on earth as proof of his resurrection.
Matthew 12: 46-50: Jesus says we are as truly his family as his mother Mary and blood relatives were, because “in him” we are sons and daughters of his Father. — A model for our ministry is Mary. We must be for the body of Jesus on earth what we trustingly expect Mary, his mother and ours, to be for us!
Matthew 13: 1-9: God’s power is in his words. But their survival and fruitfulness depends on the ground that receives them. As ministers, we need to teach people how to prepare their hearts to hear God’s words and make them bear fruit in their lives.
Matthew 13: 10-17: If we don’t acknowledge the gifts we have received, but act instead as if we “had nothing,” we will lose what little faith, hope and love were ours. To grow into the fullness of life, we need to consciously act on the level of God. — Christianity is not set up for those who just want the minimum. Those whose sights are set for mediocrity can neither hear God’s words nor communicate them to others, because God’s words will not be intelligible to them.
Matthew 13: 18-23: To receive God’s word effectively, we must:
1. Break ground: or the attitudes and values implanted by the “beaten path” of culture will make us impervious to what contradicts them in Jesus’ teaching.
2. Water: or we will listen to God’s words only superficially, without nurturing them by thinking deeply about them until they take root in choices.
3. Weed: we have to “hoe out” attachments to other desires that choke out initial acceptance of Christ’s ideals.
Matthew 13: 24-30: If because of our complacency, our actions do not keep God always visible in the Church, false ideas and values will replace truth.
Be aware of God’s life in you and express it.
Reveal Christ alive in you by expressing his love to everyone you meet.