Martha wished that Jesus had come in time to save her brother. Herod feared that John the Baptist had come back to life as Jesus. The Lord saw people caught up in limited notions of His reign. Using down-to-earth examples, He compared the world to a field sown with good and bad seed. Children of the Kingdom inhabit the Earth here and now! He also compared the Kingdom to treasure buried in a field, giving the field great value. Why do we fail to give our all, even knowing that life in the Kingdom—now and forever—is worth it?
Even if Jesus’ followers didn’t understand a parable at first, maybe they would remember the story and think about it—like the story of seed falling on hard, rocky, weed-choked, and good ground. When faith takes root in us, we live fruitful lives. The Lord treats people of good will (the Father’s will) as family. Jesus gladly fields questions, even if people don’t fully realize what they’re asking. When our prayers seem to go unanswered, have we asked to be served, instead of how we might serve?
Difficult choices might have to be made because of Jesus. Families would find themselves divided over Him. As the Lord visited towns and worked miracles, some people gladly accepted the miraculous works but not the Lord’s message of repentance. Well-educated Pharisees plotted against Jesus, who happened to have no objection to His disciples picking heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath. The Lord had no desire to lay unnecessary burdens upon His followers. Especially in the midst of tragedy, people sometimes feel torn between belief and abandonRead More
Each person matters, and God knows us all to the last detail. He ministered to the crowds and to individuals. Approached by an official whose daughter had just died, Jesus went to his house and gave the girl new life. On the way, a woman in the crowd believed that touching the Lord’s cloak would heal her of hemorrhaging, and so it happened. In His compassion, Jesus viewed the crowds that came to Him as sheep without a shepherd. Giving the Twelve power to heal, the Lord sent them forth to help proclaim the Kingdom of heaven at hand. If a houseRead More
Our Lord can work with imperfect disciples, like the group that feared perishing in a storm at sea, even with Jesus napping right there in the boat. Jesus called Matthew away from his customs post and ate dinner at his house with many tax collectors and sinners. They needed Him! (So did the scribes and Pharisees, but they refused to admit it.) After the Resurrection, Thomas had to see the Risen Lord’s wounds before he would believe. When we let Jesus down, what keeps Him wrapped up in our lives and eager to celebrate with us?
Jews and Gentiles converting to Judaism came to John the Baptist for ritual washing as a sign of repentance. Christian Baptism differs from John’s because it cleanses the baptized from original sin. Repentance as life goes on still matters, and it encompasses both sorrow and the desire to change. To become a fruitful disciple of the Lord requires listening to the Word of the Lord and acting upon it—a way of life as wise as building a house with a rock-solid foundation. Peter became the rock upon which the Lord determined to build the ChurchRead More
Storing up some earthly wealth seems prudent, and forgiving is hard enough without trying to love our enemies besides. We fret and fume at the expense of making the most of the moment at hand. If we need to adjust our priorities to put the will of God first, St. Paul advised that “now is a very acceptable time.” Jesus had recommended looking at a field arrayed with the beauty of wild flowers. God’s splendor surpasses anything humans can fashion. We don’t have to waste time getting wordy in prayer, because the heavenly Father knows whatRead More