Mass Readings: July 17

First: Wisdom 12:13,16-19
Resp: Psalm 86:5-6,9-10,15-16
Second: Romans 8:26-27
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Reprinted from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community.

DO YOU WANT TO BE HOLY?

"Let them grow together until harvest." –Matthew 13:30

If you are living for Jesus, you are God's wheat, citizens of His Father's kingdom (Mt 13:38). This means you are surrounded by weeds, the "followers of the evil one" (Mt 13:38). You hope and pray that God will take these people out of your life. However, the Lord refuses to do this. He wants you to grow in holiness by loving your neighbors (Mt 22:39), even and especially those who are your enemies (Mt 5:44). He wants you to "rule in the midst of your enemies" (Ps 110:2). He will spread His table before you in the sight of your foes (Ps 23:5). Some people may even be thorns in your flesh to keep you from getting proud and to help you become humble (2 Cor 12:7). Thank God that He has left the followers of Satan in our midst. As we grow in love for them and for the Lord, we can more easily see that the Lord "makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28).

Forgive, serve, pray for, and evangelize the followers of Satan. In doing so, they may receive a new nature, be changed from weeds into wheat, and become citizens of God's kingdom. Then you will grow into a saint who "will shine like the sun" in your Father's kingdom (Mt 13:43).

PRAYER: Father, make me holy no matter what it takes.
PROMISE: "The Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us." –Rm 8:26
PRAISE: Praise Jesus Who died so that all may be free!