John's Jottings

16th Sunday in OT

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19, Romans 8:26-27, Matthew 13:24-43


The Kingdom of Heaven


Sometimes I will catch myself watching and reading the news of this country and the world for way too long.  I read about troubles in the Middle East, places like Syria, and Iraq.  I read about Turkey becoming more radicalized by fundamentalist Islam.  Qatar and Saudi Arabia fighting over… something to with religious beliefs.  I fearfully read about our southern brothers and sisters in Mexico and the violence of the Drug Cartels.  North Korea and their increasing challenge to be a super power by building a nuclear arsenal.  Our country with an increase of distrust of government and all authority and a divergent mindset that seem to have no middle points.   As I look at these sites I sometimes forget my fundamental beliefs as a Christian and what that means to the world around me, partly because I get fearful.

The first parable in today’s Gospel of the good seed that is sowed and then weeds are sown with the wheat seeds are much like our world and we look at the weeds and we get depressed or lose hope and there are always some who want to violently pull them up, but the parable frowns on that.  We need to remind ourselves we are the good seed and like the parable of the dough we are the yeast.  We remember we may seem small but a bit of hope goes along way.   The weed seeds do not change us into bad seeds, but are just mixed in with us.  We as Christians are the ones that believe in something larger and more powerful than what the world seems to be.  We believe in a source of justice, making us merciful to all.  We believe God will show His might in His perfection.  We believe that God is all powerful and will judge with clemency.  That God will teach us, to be kind, to build and sow hope, and that there is nothing we cannot repent of.  That God will hear our prayers even though we may not even know what to say, for God sent His Spirit to intercede for us.  

We have all, we have the power of Jesus Christ, the intercession of the Holy spirit, the love of the all-powerful Father.   We have all we need to sow the seed of righteousness and truth and justice and forgiveness, hope and love among the weeds, to change parable a bit, our seed of Jesus Christ must be sown among the weeds.  Our seed of Jesus Christ in the Church has grown to be more than a mustard bush, but a tree of some importance.  We have become yeast that has influenced many governments directly or indirectly including our U.S. government.  The seed of Christianity has influence our Social Service system to more compassionate.  Christianity has influenced ideologies as diverse as communism and socialism, even though they would rather not admit to that.  

Christianity’s influence is great and has even more potential as it grows in the world and it is growing.  With that growth of Christianity, the Evil One fights back and we in our careless and even lax way of living our faith have allowed Satan to move in and so have missed many opportunities to grow stronger, and sow seeds, to pray through the challenges.  

This Sunday St. Gregory the Great Church will celebrate 8 Masses, 6 of them with an average of 800 people, that’s a lot of people coming to worship and listen to the Word of God and we are just one of many other Catholic Churches in Va. Beach and the many in the U.S.  and many more in the world, surpassing a billion or so Catholics.  I am not even counting good Christian denominations spreading the truth as best they can in our world.  The challenge for all of us sitting here is to believe enough in what the Church teaches and our deep roots in the Sacred Scriptures.  To get excited about your faith because it is the only thing that brings deep abiding hope and true peace.  I do know that all of us in this room are on the path to a dynamic faith, I know this because you are sitting here.  And yet the truth is all of us are in different places in that journey of faith, don’t get comfortable where you are because if you don’t keep moving toward a deeper faith, there will be less light, and fewer seeds cast into the weeds of our world.

My friends, be the seed, the yeast, know your faith, don’t let the world around us get you down and hopeless but know and believe in God who is the Father, The Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, help this God of ours to bring salvation to the world.  Thank you.


God Bless all of you,

Fr. John, O.S.B.


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