READINGS for 2008-07-28
“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.” – Matthew 13:31
Three years ago, my family received a call to go and proclaim the Gospel. At first, I put it aside. But in the weeks and months that followed, the Voice grew louder and clearer. Finally, we said, “Yes, Lord, we will go!” and left friends and acquaintances behind.
We didn’t know how to proceed but we started as a family of four — my wife, our two teenage children and me — doing Bible studies in our home. With the help of our small cassette player, we would sing praises, worshiping the Lord in full intensity. After that I’d give a teaching.
Two months later, the Lord opened up for us a bigger audience of about 35 to 40 in the parish. A few months later, another mission field presented itself, allowing us to bring the Good News to people in different places!
Like the proverbial mustard seed, the Word of God that He allowed us to sow, grew and blossomed. I can’t help but thank the Lord when we hear testimonies of healing, changed lives, deliverance and other miracles.
We served the Lord. And we continue serving Him. Indeed, “the gifts and and the call of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Danny Tariman
Do you hear the Lord calling you? Just say yes and He will equip you.
Lord, thank You for calling us. Let Your fresh anointing be upon us today.
Jeremiah prophesies the trials and difficulties of the people due to their faithlessness and refusal to follow the Lord’s will for their lives. It is not that God is punishing them but that the consequences of sin are such that it leads people away from the grace of God. Apart from God there is always struggle and suffering.
Jeremiah 13: 1-11
1 The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth; wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water. 2 I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on. 3 A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus: 4 Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Parath; there hide it in a cleft of the rock. 5 Obedient to the LORD’s command, I went to the Parath and buried the loincloth. 6 After a long interval, he said to me: Go now to the Parath and fetch the loincloth which I told you to hide there. 7 Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth from the place where I had hid it. But it was rotted, good for nothing! 8 Then the message came to me from the LORD. 9 Thus says the LORD: So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot, the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This wicked people who refuse to obey my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and follow strange gods to serve and adore them, shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing. 11 For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins, so had I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD; to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty. But they did not listen.
P S A L M
Deuteronomy 32: 18-19, 20, 21
R: You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, You forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing and anger toward his sons and daughters. (R) 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what will then become of them. What a fickle race they are, sons with no loyalty in them!” (R) 21 “Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’ and angered me with their vain idols, I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’; with a foolish nation I will anger them.” (R)
G O S P E L
A line from a secular song seems somewhat pertinent here, “from little things, big things grow.” This is often the story with the ways of faith. The challenge we face in this is to have patience with the grace of God as it conforms us to the image of Christ. Too often, I have seen spectacular conversions go wrong because the hard and tedious work of laying the right foundation was not undertaken by the individual. I much prefer to see the success of a “normal” conversion that is lasting.
31 Jesus proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’ ” 33 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.” 34 All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, 35 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.”
think:I have seen spectacular conversions go wrong because the hard and tedious work of laying the right foundation was not undertaken by the individual. I much prefer to see the success of a “normal” conversion that is lasting.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Maccabees 13-14
FrOM sMall bEGinninGs
Baking bread takes a lot of effort. You measure the flour, sugar, water, and yeast. You only need a small amount of yeast to make the bread rise. Have you ever seen mustard seed? It was the smallest of seeds, similar to pepper. It was amazing that such a small seed would develop into a large tree of up to 10 feet tall.
It was with these familiar images, so close to home, that Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of heaven. He wanted everyone to understand just how precious it was. Jesus used parables as a skillful technique in making an extraordinary message known. What seemingly was so small and insignificant would develop into something profound and wonderful. From its humble beginnings, the message of the Kingdom began with 12 simple men that has now grown into a worldwide phenomenon.
From small beginnings, great things are formed. Think of small nations that sought independence, and now has a democratic government. Think of the student — studying hard and seeking to learn the tools of the trade — who becomes a successful doctor or an artist. It was from such small beginnings in an inconspicuous place, despised by many, that the Savior and Redeemer of the world was born, died and rose again.
It is from these seemingly small things — the seed and the yeast — that Jesus illustrates the expansiveness of the Kingdom. They are objects often taken for granted, yet these small materials have great power, potential and ability — to develop, strengthen and form great things. The seed becomes a tree and shelter for the birds; the yeast becomes bread that nourishes man.
We m a y b e insignificant, incapable, and small in the eyes of many but the Lord will use whatever we offer Him. St. Ignatius encourages us to seek the Lord with a magnanimous heart This saint came from small beginnings and the Lord used him in powerful ways. Fr. Brian Steele
The mustard seed is the virtue planted in me, and the yeast is the Spirit that fills my life. Identify the virtues in your life and ask the Lord
to water and nurture them with His Spirit.
Father, may Your Kingdom come and may Your will be done. Let Your Kingdom reign in my life. Amen.
St. Samson, Welsh, bishop, pray for us.
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