Gracious and loving God,
We ask you to calm the hurricane, gentle the rains, and send clear skies for the recovery. Spare those who were uprooted and dislocated from further harm. Help those in the storm’s way to return to safety, stability, and security. Open our hearts in generosity to all who have no resources, whether physical, spiritual, or economic. In all things and at all times, help us to remember that when the storms of life come upon us, you are always with us, leading us to shelter, guiding us to safety, comforting us in our need.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Office of Worship, Diocese of Dallas, adapted from Diocese of Austin
In today’s Bible readings, we will hear how about God’s wisdom and its importance in our lives. The parables of the treasure in the field and the pearl beyond price describe a wisdom for which no sacrifice is too great. King Solomon’s desire for the wisdom of understanding and right judgment is greatly rewarded by the Lord. The Psalmist proclaims that “I love your commands more than gold.”
St Paul shows us that God has the ultimate divine plan and the wisdom and power to bring it to fulfillment. A plan that calls all — slave and free, women and men to himself and conforms us all in Jesus Christ.
St Paul in the letter to the Romans states a painfully obvious truth – it is not easy to pray to God like we should. The Apostle recognizes that we are weak and need God’s intercessor, the Holy Spirit, to overcome our sinful nature.
The first reading, in contrast, shows us a God who is all powerful, all loving, and who can exercise that power in a way totally free; not controlled by what people think, expect or even deserve. The responsorial psalm poetically states that “Lord, you are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.”
Listen to today’s gospel as Jesus continues to teach in parables about the kingdom of God. Each parable draws on the familiar imagery of mustard seeds, of cooking, and of planting and harvesting to illustrate different aspects of the heavenly kingdom.
St John says that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Listen closely as todays’ scriptures expands our understanding of the Word. Today’s passages will describe for us the fertile and life-giving power of God.
The prophet Isaiah, who lived 700 years before the birth of Jesus, writes as if the Word of God is water; which has been sent from the heavens to water the earth and returns to God having accomplished its purpose.
The parable of the sower, while a familiar reading, truly challenges us to be receptive to the word of God. The promise is that whoever hears the word of God will be blessed and produce fruits in abundance.
In today’s readings, Jesus, reveals to us just how powerful, peaceful and loving the relationship between the Father and the Son really goes.
Foreshadowing this revelation, the prophet Zechariah describes a powerful king who will be humble, just and meek. He will banish the weapons of war and bring peace to the ends of the earth.
Together, Paul and Matthew, tell us that when we live according to the spirit and not to the flesh, we will break the yoke of death. Living in the spirit is to truly take the yoke of Jesus upon our shoulders. This yoke is a relationship of total communion between us and Jesus; and thru Jesus, the Father, which is the true source of peace, justice and happiness.
The apostle Paul tells us in the second reading, that at our Baptism, we have become linked to Jesus’s death on the cross. He also goes on to explain how we have been raised to a new life and become disciples of Jesus Christ.
In the first part of Matthew’s Gospel, we will hear Jesus tell us his expectations of his disciples. Jesus demands and expects our total love ‑‑ a love that surpasses that which we have for our fathers, mothers, children, and even ourselves.
The Gospel then goes on to teach that when we receive a fellow disciple – we are receiving Jesus Christ. Just like the Shunemite woman from the first reading, she welcomed the righteous prophet Elisha and received a prophet’s reward for her actions; we too will be rewarded when we welcome Jesus Christ, through his disciples, into our lives.
It is not easy to be a disciple of Christ and to strive to follow God’s law. It can often lead others to make fun of us, ridicule us, and even stir up great anger towards us. The readings today tell us not to be afraid. We are not above our master, Jesus Christ, who himself was mocked, beaten, and crucified for just helping others and speaking the truth. We are assured, though, that God will be with us during those difficult times, and he will reward us for being steadfast followers of his son. Evil men and women can destroy our reputations, our careers, and even our lives, but they cannot destroy our souls. If we place our trust in God, he will protect our souls and join them to himself in everlasting life. So do not be afraid.