Mass Readings
Reading 1 — Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm — Psalm 65:10-15
Reading 2 — Romans 8:-18-23
Gospel — Matthew 13:1-23

“Whoever has ears ought to hear,“ says our Lord to the crowd. And today, we listen to Him telling us the same. For Jesus, to listen is not just any activity but an important means to be constantly united with the Father. To listen means to be united. Within this ambit, we reflect on our readings today.

To Listen is to be Nourished

In our first reading today, God through Isaiah likens His word to rain and snow falling from heaven, making earth fertile and fruitful. And Jesus in our gospel speaks of the sower, the seed and the soil, a familiar scene to many. The word of God is Jesus and he has accomplished all that the Father wishes Him to do. He saved us and is continuously saving us. But the salvation we received needs our participation; God needs our response. And to listen to the Word is the first stage of our response. Only in listening that we get to see who we are and the kind of response we ought to make. When we listen to the Word of God, we do not just passively listen. To listen is to participate in the life of God, and being with God means being constantly nourished. Thus, we find ourselves fertile and fruitful in faith, virtue and charity.

To Listen is to be Healed

In our second reading, St. Paul gives us a stark picture of our current situation: we are in pain; we are struggling. This poses a great challenge to listening. It is easy to listen when we are not troubled by anything. And nobody is not troubled, even the minutest of all things is bothered in any way. Facing the truth of our current situation, St. Paul urges us to look at it with a positive heart. Yes, we are suffering but it is not all there is. Our suffering here and now is a test to strengthen us—not to break us—so that like a victorious athlete, we would be “set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” St. Paul redirects the ears of our faith to the promise of redemption, a promise that is true, sure and eternal. All we need to do is to listen to the Word of God like true disciples. And like the soil that needs to be tilled and cultivated, we allow suffering to cultivate us as seedbeds of faith. In this way, we allow ourselves to be healed by God and nourish us like watered garden—fertile and fruitful.

To Listen is to be Challenged

Our Responsorial Psalm today speaks of God visiting His people and nourishing them. Here lies another challenge: to be visited is to be stirred. Our usual monotony is shaken and the status quo is challenged. Remember how God challenged our ancestors (Abraham, Moses and Elijah etc). By challenging them, God made them fruitful. Today, Jesus challenges us to be fruitful even in the midst of suffering. He himself is our example. In a society where morals and values once believed and understood as society’s building block are questioned—facing the danger of being obsolete. Jesus’s words redirect our mind and heart by challenging all these false values. He wants us to go forward bringing with us the unchangeable, unalienable and irreplaceable values. Values that have built and will continue to build our identity and uniting our society eternally to the Father.

However, no matter how lofty the message is if men close their ears to what is true, eternal and divine, we will never be nourished and our journey will lead us nowhere but to our own demise.

So we ask God for the grace to open our hearts that we may listen to Him and be nourished by His words. We also ask for the intercession of our mother, Our Lady of Consolation. Like her, may we listen to the Word of God and ponder Him in our hearts.

“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

13 Jul 2017
134 times
Mass Readings:
Reading 1 — Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm — Psalm 65:10-15
Reading 2 — Romans 8:-18-23
Gospel — Matthew 13:1-23

Reflection: The Lord through the Prophet Isaiah says, "...my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."

These words of the Lord summarizes the message of our readings this Sunday. God's word always bears fruit, renewal, and conversion to all who listens to it. But like a seed, the Word of God can bear fruit only when we become soils that are receptive and fertile. But to be receptive and fertile soil takes a lot of tilling and cultivation, as with our life, we have to undergo many trials and suffering to become the fertile soil in which the Word of God can be planted and it can bear fruit.

This is what St. Paul reminds us in our 2nd Reading, we are groaning within us as we await for our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. It should, then, be clear for us that suffering and trials are there for us to become rich fields for the Word of God, we should not reject them outright, rather, we embrace them with so much joy because we have been found worthy vessels of God's Word.

 

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

08 Jul 2017
90 times
Reading 1 - Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalm - Psalm 145:1-14
Reading 2 - Romans 8:-9-13
Gospel - Matthew 11:25-30

Reflection: Our world today is bombarded with so much work, always in haste, and is in dire need of rest.

In our gospel this Sunday, Jesus invites us to come to Him, to find in Him the rest that we need. The world emphasizes success and comfort, which are achieved only through competition and rigorous work. The world offers a comfortable life that does not know how to live life.

To be truly human, is to live life to the fullest, achieving our potentials with great care. Christ offers us peace, a peace that goes beyond the absence of war or strife. Rather, He offers us a peace that is born of love, a peace that is of God, in other words, reconciliation with God, with others and ourselves. This is the rest that we long for. This is the rest that Christ offers us that we may become fruitful.

The yoke of Christ is the Cross, and this is given to us to carry, this is the medium of our reconciliation. Anything borne out of love is never heavy, it is always light and easy for love elevates us beyond our humanity.

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

01 Jul 2017
95 times

Reflection: Our gospel this Sunday exhorts us of two essential aspects of our lives.

First, the Cross is inevitable in Christian life. Jesus invites us to enter into His passion so that we may live our lives as worthy children of God. To follow Jesus is to carry our cross daily and this means that we focus immerse ourselves to His love, making no exemptions.

Second, Jesus invites to be generous and kind to all. When we love Jesus and follow Him, it is presupposed that we also love those whom He loves, the poor, the sinner, the marginalized, and the abandoned. Our following of Jesus is entirely manifested in our works of Charity.

St. John says in his 1st Letter, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother is a liar... he who loves God should love his brother." This is the reason why charity and the cross are completely connected, because they are both of God.

Let us, then, ask the Lord that He give us the grace to carry our crosses and follow more dearly, and that we may burn with love for all.