Chapter 13 speaks to us about the discourse of the Parables. Following the text of Mark (Mk 4,1-34), Matthew omits the parable of the seed which germinates alone (Mk 4,26-29), and he stops on the discussion of the reason for the Parable (Mt 13,10-17) adding the parable of the wheat and the darnel (Mt 13,24-30), of the yeast (Mt 13,33), of the treasure (Mt 13,44), of the pearl (Mt 13,45-46) and of the dragnet (Mt 13,47-50). Together with the parable of the sower (Mt 13,4-11) and of the mustard seed (Mt 13,31-32), there are seven parables in the Discourse of the Parables (Mt 13,1-50).
PARISH MASS 1000
* PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A BREAK IN TRANSMISSION *
There is no room in a good field for weeds and rubbish: so in the Kingdom of Heaven, there is no room for ‘all things that provoke offences, and all who do evil’. They must be got rid of, for the sake of the good wheat, for the sake of the good subjects of the kingdom. But this weeding out will not take place until harvest time – in case one piece of good wheat is destroyed with the weeds. This shows the mercy of God: everyone has chance after chance to prove that they are wheat, not darnel; there are no quick judgements in the kingdom of heaven, and things are never as black and white as we think. Only at the end of time will evil stand out clearly, so that it can be disposed of, and only the Son of Man can judge.
16a MASS BOOK
In today’s Gospel we see that there are many conflicts between Jesus and the religious authority of that time. They are conflicts regarding the religious practices of that time: fasting, purity, observance of the Sabbath, etc. In normal terms, they would be conflicts regarding for example, matrimony between divorced persons, friendship with prostitutes, the acceptance of homosexuals, communion without being married by the Church, not to go to Mass on Sunday, not to fast on Good Friday. The conflicts were many: at home, in the school, in work, in the community, in the Church, in personal life, in society. Conflicts regarding growth, relationship, age, mentality. So many of them! To live life without conflicts is impossible! Conflict is part of life and springs up since the time of birth. We are born with birth pangs. Conflicts are not accidents along the way, but form part of the journey, of the process of conversion. What strikes us is the way in which Jesus faces the conflicts. In the discussion with his enemies, he was not trying to show them that he was right, but wished to make the experience which he, Jesus, had of God, Father and Mother, prevail. The image of God which others had was that of a severe Judge who only threatened and condemned. Jesus tries to have mercy on the blind observance of the norms and of the law, prevail, since it had nothing to do with the objective of the Law which is the practice of Love.
TUESDAY OF WEEK 14
Today’s Gospel presents two facts: (1) the cure of a possessed dumb person (Mt 9, 32-34) and (2) a summary of the activity of Jesus (Mt 9, 35-38). These two episodes end the narrative part of chapters 8 and 9 of the Gospel of Matthew in which the Evangelist seeks to indicate how Jesus put into practice the teachings given in the Sermon on the Mountain (Mt 5 and 7).
WEDNESDAY OF WEEK 11 OF THE YEAR
MASS 0930 & 1900 COMPLINE 2045
In today’s Gospel we get to the summit of the Mountain of the Beatitudes, where Jesus proclaimed the Law of the Kingdom of God, the ideal of which can be summarized in this lapidarian phrase: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5, 48) Jesus was correcting the Law of God! Five times, one after another, he had already affirmed: “It was said, but I say to you!” (Mt 5, 21.27, 31.33.38). This was a sign of great courage on his part, in public, before all the people gathered there, to correct the most sacred treasure of the people, the origin of their identity, which was the Law of God. Jesus wants to communicate a new way of looking and of practicing the Law of God. The key, so as to be able to get this new look, is the affirmation: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. Never will anyone be able to say: “Today I have been perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect!” We are always below the measure which Jesus has placed before us. Perhaps, because of this, he has placed before us an ideal which is impossible for us mortal beings to attain?