16th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
This word of the LORD came to me: Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unsown. Sacred to the LORD was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest; Should any presume to partake of them, evil would befall them, says the LORD. When I brought you into the garden land to eat its goodly fruits, You entered and defiled my land, you made my heritage loathsome. The priests asked not, “Where is the LORD?” Those who dealt with the law knew me not: the shepherds rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after useless idols. Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD. Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; They have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.
Gospel: Mt 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
TOTAL SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL: Life events may make us wonder why there is a lot of misery and suffering in the world. Does God permit all this? Yet we know that we need to be faithful to God and the grace of God will definitely be there in our life. Our God is a God of surprises. We may not be able to fathom his love and mercy and yet depend on him for we know that he created us and he sustains us every day. Solomon prayed for God’s wisdom he was given all that he needed in life. With humility and meekness let us implore his mercy and love that we be given the strength to know him more and to deepen our love for him and to serve him and to be with him one day when we finish our journey here on earth.
Prayer: Lord, let me be an instrument in your hands.
**** DIGGING BROKEN CISTERNS: God is dissatisfied with Israel for two reasons, “…they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug themselves cisterns…that hold no water.” During our times, despite the enormous discoveries and scientific achievements, we seek a God-free, value-free world. Forgetting God, the source of living waters, we seek happiness where we can never find it. We therefore, have meaninglessness amidst no lack of information; emptiness amidst plenty; and loneliness amidst worldwide network. With a people not disposed to listen to Him, God will not reveal himself. As a result, our worldly intellectuals, in their arrogance and self-reliance continue to fail to recognize the deeper and ultimate truths which God reveals to the childlike. We are called to use our freedom, with humility, to seek Divine wisdom. At the age of ten, Bridget of Sweden whose memory we celebrate today had a vision of Jesus hanging upon the cross. When she asked who had treated him like this, he answered, “They who despise me, and spurn my love for them.” Where are we?