Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reflection for the 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Broken Cisterns

The very heavens should be amazed and horrified. God's people have committed two great evils.

First, they turned their backs on God. They walked away from Him and chosen their own path. They said no to His ways and to His love. They wanted their own will, their own pleasures, their own ideas. They refused the living waters He held out to them, the waters of His love and grace.

Second, they thought they could find living waters elsewhere. They tried hard, chasing after money, possessions, fame, power, and pleasures. They worked and worked, seeking happiness and love. But all they found were broken cisterns that contained no water.

Lord, may we never turn our backs upon You again. May we never refuse Your grace and love. May we never look elsewhere for the living water You so long to give us. May we never trade You for the things of this world. Amen.

Friday – Mary Magdalene

Dear Jesus, on this feast of Mary Magdalene, may we approach You with repentant hearts, seeking Your forgiveness and love. May we seek You even in the darkest times of our lives. May we turn to You even when we think all hope is lost. May we never give up on our love for You or on Your love for us. May we always find You even and perhaps especially when we don't expect You. May we always hear You saying our names with great love. May we always respond to You with joy. May we cling to You forever. May we spread Your word with enthusiasm. May we join you in Heaven to spend eternity in Your arms. Amen.

Saturday – Weeds and Wheat

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about weeds and wheat growing together in a single field until harvest time. We can apply this teaching to our own lives in several ways.

We know, of course, that the world is full of weeds and wheat. We experience good, bad, and a mixture thereof every single day, and we learn to handle all kinds of situations.

In the Church, too, we see weeds and wheat growing together as scandals shake us and we wonder how people can act so badly.

Even in ourselves we discover the weeds of selfishness and sin along with the wheat of love and virtue. We realize that we are a strange blend and that, as St. Paul says, we often do the exact opposite of what we want to do.

In the end, however, Jesus will gather the wheat and destroy the weeds. He will bring a new Heaven and a new earth when He returns at the end of time. He will purify His Church. And He will purify each of us. If we allow Him to work in us, He will help us get rid of our weeds so that we may present Him with a fruitful harvest of love. He will do it. We need only to trust Him and allow Him to work.

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