Mass Reading & Meditation for July 30, 2013
Meditation: Matthew 13:36-43
Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matthew 13:43)
If you’ve seen Westerns, you know that it’s pretty easy to spot the bad guys. They’re the ones who talk nasty, do really mean things, and always wear black hats. You also know that they’re going to get in a gunfight with the good guys, and lose. Kind of predictable, right?
Unfortunately, we may have the tendency to view this parable in the same way. We know how the story ends, after all: the good get rewarded, and the bad get punished. And we may be fairly certain that we are the good guys. But maybe that’s the problem. Perhaps we are so busy focusing on ourselves that we don’t see the whole picture.
We only need to reflect on Jesus’ love to see that salvation is not an us-versus-them proposition. It’s for everyone! God wants all of us to spend eternity with him. And for that to happen, he wants us to share that mercy with everyone around us. Our job is not to separate the sheep from the goats; it’s to shine the light of Christ wherever we go.
If you haven’t given much thought to evangelization lately, let today’s Gospel reading help move you forward. Start by asking the Holy Spirit for the gift of compassion. Ask him to show you the needs of the people in your life—needs that Jesus can meet with his gospel message. Look for Spirit-led opportunities to offer a kind word, as well as opportunities just to listen. Be open to situations that call for a work of charity, as well as those that cry out for you to proclaim the death and resurrection of Christ.
You don’t need to be intelligent or even very capable. You just need to be available. God has put you into situations that no one else is in; he has sown you in a field that is unique to you alone. So go ahead and scatter the seeds of the gospel in that field!
“Thank you, Lord, for loving me! Help me to extend your love to everyone I meet. Today, please send me to at least one person who needs you in their life.”
Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28; Psalm 103:6-13