Jesus reveals the hidden mysteries of His Kingdom with parables. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Faith so he can always have faith in God’s Divine Providence and by pursuing the Virtue of Hope so he can reject despair and have prudent hope in that God’s Providence is at work in his life and the world.
16th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 13:24-43
Jesus teaches huge crowds with a series of parables about the hidden mysteries of His Kingdom present in the Holy Catholic Church (Mt 13). Jesus uses parables to draw the humble to ponder and hunger for God, to conceal His teachings from the prideful, and to pronounce judgment on those who reject Him.
After explaining The Parable of the Sower (Mt 13:3-23), Jesus offers and explains, The Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat: God has complete dominion over the world, and loves and protects His men; God allows Satan and his evil “sons” to exist and attack men in the Spiritual Combat; God promises to judge the good and the evil, with Angels playing a key role; God’s sons, the righteous, will be blessed in the Father’s Kingdom and men who follow Satan will be condemned to an excruciating Hell.
Jesus offers two additional shorter parables describing the Kingdom of Heaven. The Parable of the Mustard Seed builds on Old Testament references to a coming kingdom that would be like a great tree that gathers and comforts many nations (Ezek 31:2-13; Dan 4:12). It inspires hope among the disciples that Christ’s Kingdom will come to be, despite starting small; Acts 1:15 numbers the disciples after Christ’s Ascension at only 120 people. In The Parable of the Leaven, Jesus confirms that though the Kingdom of Heaven starts small and almost invisible, like hidden leaven, will have an disproportionally high impact in evangelizing the whole world, like small amounts of leaven can cause an enormous amount of flour to rise, inspiring the disciples to be confident that their small “hidden” actions will lead to the evangelization of the world.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed, and filled with holy fear, by the Divine Justice which Jesus brings to every man: Son of Man, Jesus proclaims Truth (a part of Justice), the acceptance of which is a standard of the Judgment of men; Divine Judge, Jesus will reach His verdict on every man’s life based on if the man repents from sin and accepts His Gospel, or not; using Vindication (a part of Justice by which rewards and punishments are given for men’s behaviors), Jesus will accept the good to be glorified in Heaven, while He will banish the evil, who sin and lead others to sin, to the everlasting suffering of Hell.
Have faith in God’s Divine Providence
Realize: One common theme across all of these parables is that God has Divine Providence over all things: God gives life, sustains life, and makes His deliberate “plan of sheer goodness” (CCC 1-3) come into existence. Nobody or nothing can thwart the Divine Providence of God.
Believe: Return to the Divine Providence of God (CCC 302-324).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I always recognize and believe in the unstoppable power of Your Divine Providence over all men and all things.
Reject despair, and hope in Divine Providence
Realize: Dwelling upon the darkness of the growing evil in the world and the turmoil in the Church can lead to despair (a sin against Hope); every Catholic man can remain firm in hope because God has Divine Providence over everyone and everything.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sin of Despair (CCC 2091) and the Virtue of Hope (CCC 1817-1821).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Providence, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I frequently remember Your promise to build Your Kingdom, I do not despair of the growing darkness, and joyously live, knowing Your Divine Providence will easily prevail over all evil.