"When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it." Jesus today gives us the image of a merchant who knows he has discovered a great treasure. In fact, its value is so tremendous that the man is willing to sell everything else in order to possess it. Why? Because he knows it will all be worth it. He knows that the pearl will bring him more reward than anything else he has ever owned, more even than all his possessions combined.READ MORE
"The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil." This is not a pretty picture. Jesus shares a parable in today's Gospel that reminds us of a truth we would rather forget: evil is real, and the devil is at work. The bountiful harvest of our faith is something that Satan wants to destroy. And he has a host of diabolical tactics to help him carry out his wicked plans. But there is one strategy in particular that we must be on guard against.READ MORE
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold." In the parable of the sower that Jesus tells in today's Gospel, the ideal is to be "the seed sown on rich soil" that yields an abundant harvest. As Jesus explains, this means we should strive to be "the one who hears the word and understands it."
So how do we place ourselves in this category? How do we assure that we will hear God's voice (i.e., the word) and actually understand what lie's saying to us? The answer comes in the parable itself Jesus explains what we need to avoid in order to make sure our seed bears fruit.
First, we must beware of "the evil one" who comes and steals away the seed of God's word. Faithfully praying the Lord's Prayer, with its request to "deliver us from evil," is a good starting point. Placing ourselves under God's protection every day is like taking up a shield against the forces that would seek to derail us.READ MORE
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." Is there anyone to whom this doesn't apply? Don't we all have to labor at something, whether it be work, school, relationships, household affairs, or personal, emotional, or mental battles? Aren't we all burdened in some way at some time?
Jesus offers us powerful words of consolation in today's Gospel. He promises us rest. He calls all of us to himself, along with the baggage and burdens that we carry, and assures us that we will find relief. Thank God! What a gift for our tired, weary souls.READ MORE