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Posts Tagged ‘Gospel Parables’


paths 15Easter Friday, April 9, 2021

Matthew 13:17-23

So Many Paths – Part IV

Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.

The Parable of the Sower is a familiar one and yet . . . we resist changing so that our journey might be a little lighter. We refuse adjustment from our present position even though modification in our living might offer and opportunity for conversion. When we find ourselves traveling a road that seems immutable and absolute we need not fear, for we are graced with the Word that combats all Woe. How do we tune our ears so that we might honestly listen to God’s word? How do we un-muddy our eyes so that might rightly see God’s presence in our lives?

Life gives us surprising obstacles and we lose heart. We lament and complain. We recoil and mourn. Life treats us well and we take credit for all that we have and are. We act with hubris. We become pompous and self-righteous. Once we have set out on a path, do we have any recourse to change? Once we are well on our way, are we doomed to a single outcome?

paths 16The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.

When we hear the Torah, the Prophets and the Gospel we are as free to heed God’s Word as we are to ignore it.

The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.

When we hear Jesus’ parables we are as free to search for meaning as we are to treat these stories as children’s tales that hold no meaning for adult lives.

The seed sown among thorns in the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.

paths 18When we witness injustice we also witness the presence of the Spirit in a hostile and frightening world. We are as free to respond to that Spirit to unit ourselves in God’s grace with Christ’s mystical body as we are to squelch it.

But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.

When we find ourselves on a difficult path fraught with danger and friction . . . we are as free to ask for, to receive and to respond to God’s grace as we are to remain implacably set in our own rigid way. As we near the end of the Lenten season and prepare to open ourselves to Christ’s Easter joy, let us determine to receive Christ with gratitude, to celebrate God’s presence with delight, and to rest in the serenity of the Spirit.

Tomorrow, a prayer for the journey.


Images from: https://www.joe-ks.com/2012/amazing-paths

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Ezekiel 28: Graciousness . . . Always

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rembrandt: Return of the Prodigal Son

Paraphrasing from LA BIBLIA DE AMÉRICA footnotes (899): The center of the accusation here against this king is that despite his wisdom and intelligence, he has forgotten that he is subordinate to supreme wisdom and the king of the universe.  For this – and for his insolent attitude – he will be punished severely.  This develops into a lament which describes the king, his splendor, his guilt, and his punishment.  The king who represents Tyre will end his days in the abyss.

Perhaps the most important message we can take away today is this:  No matter our apparent security, we must remain humble . . . and we must remain grateful.  The New Testament tells us something further: No matter how correct we are in the position we take, we must remain respectful . . . and we must remain open to the possibility of the enemy’s transformation.  Jesus tells the story of the Prodigal Son and each time we hear it we realize anew how gracious is the forgiving father.  How generous and how gracious is our God.   We have never sinned too greatly; we have never wandered too far for our grateful and generous father to run to greet us and welcome us home.  God is gracious . . . always; but it is only through our own humility that we will find the great joy that the father offers.

Today’s first Mass reading from Paul’s letter to Titus (3) reminds us of the proper place and the attitude we will want to maintain as we do God’s work.  He reminds us to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.  [We] are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.  But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit . . .

As we meet corruption and misuse of power, let us be grateful always, humble always, slandering no one.  Let us be considerate always . . . and let us exercise graciousness . . . always.


To reflect a bit more on the Gospel Parables and God’s Graciousnessclick on the image above or go to: http://www.goodnews.ie/graciousness.shtml

LA BIBLIA DE LA AMÉRICA. 8th. Madrid: La Casa de la Biblia, 1994. Print.

Written on November 10, 2010, re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

For more on Tyre, see yesterday’s https://thenoontimes.wordpress.com/2012/9/18/

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Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part VII

Pope Francis: An audience with students

Pope Francis: An audience with students

Sunday, June 21, 2015

We have spent a week exploring a number of questions that many of us ask about the kingdom. Today we consider the kingdom as the infinite presence of God’s Spirit, and the fulfillment of God’s promise and covenant.

In the fall of 2013, Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, posited this idea about the kingdom Jesus describes. “Jesus says that the Kingdom of God does not come in a way that attracts attention: it comes by wisdom . . . This wisdom carries [men and women] forward,” he explained, “with this intelligent, holy, single, manifold and subtle spirit. This is journeying in life with this spirit,” underlined the Pope, “the spirit of God, which helps us to judge, to make decisions according to the heart of God. And this spirit gives us peace, always! It is the spirit of peace, the spirit of love, the spirit of fraternity.” (Pope Francis)

Next week we will return to our consideration of the mystery of God that we find in the gifts of free will, prayer, angels, the Temple, covenant and ministry. Each of these gifts brings us a unique challenge through which we grow, and through which we come closer to the kingdom Jesus describes. Today, we think about the kingdom we see around us with its complications of hunger, natural disaster, disease and scientific challenge. As we read Pope Francis’ words we consider, where is the wisdom that guides us in becoming one with others as we build the city of God?

If you want to find another parable that Jesus tells us while exploring the concept of wisdom, you may want to use a parable index like the one at http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/pa.htm This is a tool to sort through the stories Jesus tells us and you may have another that you want to recommend in a comment.

We may also want to re-visit the theme of climate change as the Pope addresses it in this article from the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33182065 Or we may want to read the English translation of his recent encyclical, Care for our Common Home or Laudato Siat: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

Or you may want to use the Connecting at Noon page on this blog for ideas about how to explore scripture as we listen for words from God: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/

Next week, the mysteries of the kingdom, and the wisdom of the Spirit that calls us to union in Christ, and unity in God’s kingdom.

For more on Pope Francis’ thoughts on wisdom and the kingdom, read Elise Harris’ article posted on November 14, 2013 by the CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-kingdom-of-god-comes-by-wisdom/

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Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part VI660x400_immun-men-in-boat

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Today we continue our exploration of the kingdom by going to the UNICEF web site. To examine the status of immunization in the world. Find other sources of information on this topic and consider the pros and cons. What does Jesus say to us about immunizations especially for children?  How does God’s Spirit move us to celebrate humanity and those who call us to care for the children?

Click on the image above to explore how to save lives and why one in five children are denied vaccines. Discover what science has to tell us about eradicating polio and other devastating diseases.

If you want to find another parable that Jesus tells us while exploring this idea, you may want to use a parable index like the one at http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/pa.htm This is a tool to sort through the stories Jesus tells us and you may have another that you want to recommend in a comment.

Or you may want to use the Connecting at Noon page on this blog for ideas about how to explore scripture as we listen for words from God: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/

Tomorrow, the promise of the kingdom. 

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Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part VUN hunger

Friday, June 19, 2015

Today we continue our exploration of the kingdom by going to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations web site. Find other sources of information on world hunger and consider the pros and cons. What does Jesus say to us on this subject?  How does God’s Spirit move us to celebrate humanity and those who call us to sow and reap a harvest for the poor?

Click on the image above to discover what may endanger the Mediterranean diet, the diet long considered the world’s healthiest and most sustainable regimen. Discover what science has to tell us about the factors that affect hunger.

If you want to find another parable that Jesus tells us while exploring this idea, you may want to use a parable index like the one at http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/pa.htm This is a tool to sort through the stories Jesus tells us and you may have another that you want to recommend in a comment.

Or you may want to use the Connecting at Noon page on this blog for ideas about how to explore scripture as we listen for words from God: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/

Tomorrow, another challenge from the kingdom. 

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Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part IV174_seaice_1979

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today we continue our exploration of the kingdom by going to the United Nations web site on climate change to examine the topic. Find other sources of information on this and consider the pros and cons. What does Jesus say to us on this subject?  How does God’s Spirit move us to celebrate science and those who bring us their discoveries?

Click on the image above to explore the NASA Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet and discover what science has to tell us.

If you want to find another parable that Jesus tells us while exploring this idea, you may want to use a parable index like the one at http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/pa.htm This is a tool to sort through the stories Jesus tells us and you may have another that you want to recommend in a comment.

Or you may want to use the Connecting at Noon page on this blog for ideas about how to explore scripture as we listen for words from God: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/

Tomorrow, another story from the kingdom.

 

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Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part IIIbbc image

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Today we continue our exploration of the kingdom by going to the United States FDA web site and examining the topic of genetically engineered animals. Find other sources of information on this topic and consider the pros and cons. What does Jesus say to us on this topic?  How does God’s Spirit move us to celebrate science and those who bring us their discoveries?

Click on the image of the mosquito above to read an article from the BBC asking if the world is ready for work in this arena.

If you want to find another parable that Jesus tells us while exploring this idea, you may want to use a parable index like the one at http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/pa.htm This is a tool to sort through the stories Jesus tells us and you may have another that you want to recommend in a comment.

Or you may want to use the Connecting at Noon page on this blog for ideas about how to explore scripture as we listen for words from God: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/

Tomorrow, another aspect of the kingdom.

 

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Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part IIgmo

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today we continue our exploration of the kingdom by going to the World Health Organization web site and examining the topic of genetically modified crops. What are the pros and cons? What does Jesus say to us on this topic?  How does God’s Spirit move us to celebrate science and those who bring us their discoveries?

If you want to find another parable that Jesus tells us while exploring this idea, you may want to use a parable index like the one at http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/pa.htm This is a tool to sort through the stories Jesus tells us and you may have another that you want to recommend in a comment.

Or you may want to use the Connecting at Noon page on this blog for ideas about how to explore scripture as we listen for words from God: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/

Or click on the image above to read about how Europe addresses genetically modified crops.

Tomorrow, another facet of the kingdom.

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