This Is The Word Of The Lord
Sunday, July 20th, 2014
A Prayer For Today
July 13th, 2014
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Loving Father, continue to fill us with your gifts. Make us always eager to serve you in faith, hope, and love. May we be ever watchful in keeping your commands and true to your teaching. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Author of Today’s Reading
St Matthew the Apostle
St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle while sitting in the tax collector’s place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.
His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.
St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Matthew 13:24-43 NKJV
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? ’ ’ His slaves said to him, ’ No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; ”’”He proposed another parable to them.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, ’”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.Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19 RSV
For neither is there any god besides you, whose care is for all people, to whom you should prove that you have not judged unjustly;
For your strength is the source of righteousness, and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all. For you show your strength when people doubt the completeness of your power, and you rebuke any insolence among those who know it. Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness,
and with great forbearance you govern us; for you have power to act whenever you choose.
Hymn For Today
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Thanks Be To God!
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