Readings for Monday July 26, 2010
Memorial of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
First Reading: Jeremiah 13:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:18-19
Gospel: Matthew 13:31-35
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. "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. (Mt. 13:31-35)
Today we see Jesus address the crowds in parables; which would make one ask the question, why? Why did Jesus go to such great lengths to teach by parables? Why didn't He give the people all the theology about God, Heaven, salvation, angels, etc? Why did He give them all the detailed, technical information that He could have given to the people to really make the understand? So why parables? I think that He used parables to help paint a picture for them. He didn't go there to give them theology 101, He went there to help them see what it is that they are missing out on.
The parables, helped them to see what was previously unknown to them. The parables that He gave today were in regards to heaven. I am sure that many people wondered what heaven was like, and before Jesus, no one talked about it because no one had ever been there. But Jesus, being God, was able to talk about it, He was able to give them examples and images to help them get a basic understanding of what heaven was like and what He was offering them. The parable that I liked the best was that of the mustard seed. In our world, faith and even something like heaven may seem like nothing more than a small thing, something insignificant. But if allowed to flourish in ones life, it can become something great. Heaven is like the large bush described today, where the "birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches." Heaven is the place with no more suffering, no more pain, no more tears. Heaven is our destiny, we are meant for heaven. God has an invitation out to each of us, will we trust Him and accept or try our own way, which leads away from heaven?
These parables today show us that our place is with God, and that we are meant to be with Him in Heaven. That is a message that we should all take to heart.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all of your blessings in our life. Thank you for the many blessings and gifts that you have given us, help us to be good stewards of all that you give. Lord, you are our God and our salvation, help us to never stray from your loving arms. We pray for all those in need of conversion, may they find peace and rest in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.