August 1, 2017 – Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (email@example.com)
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (13:36-43)
Jesus dismissed the crowds and 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.”
Reflect: The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. Jesus makes it clear: there is evil in the world and the Devil is working in earnest to sow the weeds among the good seed. We need to keep our eyes wide open. It is true: where sin is present, grace abounds all the more. Regardless, we can’t underestimate the ways that the Evil One works in our world and tries to penetrate our lives. All the more reason that we can’t become lackadaisical about our faith and our relationship with Jesus. We need to seek Jesus and his Kingdom with all our heart, all our strength. He is the source and summit of our life; he shows us the way to the Kingdom of God, but we need to cooperate with his grace. At the end “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.” But as we maintain a strong relationship with Jesus, our hope is that “the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of the Father.” Evil is real and not something to be disregarded. Jesus is victorious over sin and the power of the Devil. He desires nothing more than for us to share in the fullness of that victory and live forever in his glory. May we be steadfast in choosing to put our lives in his hands at every moment of every day.
Questions: Do I continually invite Jesus into my life and seek his guidance and inspiration throughout the day? Do I take seriously my baptismal promises to reject sin and Satan and believe in Jesus and the victory of his cross and resurrection? Where do I find myself lackadaisical in my commitment as a disciple of Jesus; can I ask him today to strengthen me for the journey toward his Kingdom?
Pray: Loving God, you are my Savior. I believe in you. Help me to be strong in my faith and to never waiver in the midst of sin and evil. Give me the grace to seek you and your ways with all that I am and in everything I do. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori: Pray for us!
Alphonsus was a Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27, 1696, at Marianella, near Naples, Italy. Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father, Don Joseph, who was a naval officer and a captain of the Royal Galleys. Alphonsus was the oldest of seven children, raised by a devout mother of Spanish descent. Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus received his doctorate at the age of sixteen. He was a doctor of both canon and civil law. He founded the Redemptorists in 1732 who, today, number about 5,400. He rigorously opposed Jansenism, stressing Christ’s love and Mary’s help. He is the patron of confessors and moral theologians. After much illness, deception by his religious brothers, struggles with his faith – as well as great consolation from God – Alphonsus died in 1787.
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