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Friday, July 24th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:18-23.


Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

24 July 2015

” 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.” 

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:18-23.

Jesus said to His disciples: “Hear then the parable of the sower.
The 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.
The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once 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.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
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.”

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Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

24 July 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Augustine

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Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 101; PL 38, 605

“A hundred or sixty or thirtyfold”

The sowing was carried out by the apostles and prophets, yet it is the Lord himself who sows. The Lord himself is the one present in them since it is the Lord himself who did the reaping. For without him they are nothing whereas, without them, he remains unmoved. As he said to them: “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15,5). And so what does Christ say as he sows among the gentiles? “A sower went out to sow” (Mt 13,3). In another text reapers were sent out to reap, but here the sower goes out to sow and does not complain of his labor. For what, indeed, does it matter if some seed falls on the path or rocky ground or among thorns? If he were to let himself be discouraged by these arid terrains he would make no progress towards the good soil!…

Now this has a bearing on ourselves: are we that pathway, those rocks, those weeds? Do we want to be good soil? Let us prepare our hearts to yield thirty, sixty, a hundred, a thousandfold. Thirtyfold or a thousandfold: in each case it is a question of wheat and nothing but wheat. Don’t let us any longer be that path where our sowing is trampled on by passers-by and our enemy lays hold of us like a bird. Further, those rocks or that shallow soil cause seeds that are unable to endure the heat of the sun to shoot up too quickly. And most especially: not those weeds, the lusts of this world, a focus for wrongdoing. For what, indeed, could be worse than applying all our efforts to a life that hinders us from attaining life? What more miserable than to cultivate our lives in order to lose life? What could be sadder than to avoid death only to fall into the power of death? Let us cut off the thorns, prepare the soil, receive the seed, hold fast till the harvest and long to be taken into the barn.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

24 July 2015

Saints of the day

St. Sharbel Makhluf, Priest (1828-1898)

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SAINT SHARBEL MAKHLUF
Priest
(1828-1898)

        Joseph Zaroun  Makhluf was born in a small mountain village of Lebanon. Raised by an uncle who opposed the boy’s youthful piety, he snuck away at age 23 to join the Baladite monastery of Saint Maron at Annaya where he took the name Charbel in memory of a 2nd century martyr. He was ordained in 1858.   

Devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Sharbel lived as a model monk on the bare minimums of everything. He gained a reputation for holiness, and was much sought for counsel and blessing. He had a great personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and was known to levitate during his prayers. He was briefly paralyzed just before his death.

Several post-mortem miracles were attributed to him, including periods in 1927 and 1950 when a bloody “sweat” flowed from his corpse. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Christian and non-Christian alike.

        Sharbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the way he lived. He was beatified in 1965 and canonized in 9 October 1977 by Pope Paul VI.

July 24th is the feast-day for St. Sharbel Makhlouf on the Universal Church. The Maronite Church celebrates him on the 3rd Sunday of July and on December 24th, the day he went to heaven.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

24 July 2015

Saints of the day

St. Christina, Virgin and Martyr († c. 300)

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SAINT CHRISTINA
Virgin and Martyr
(† c. 300)

        St. Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urbain. Her father, who was deep in the practices of heathenism, had a number of golden idols, which our Saint destroyed, and distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urbain became the persecutor of his daughter; he had her whipped with rods and then thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith.

     Her tormentor then had her body torn by iron hooks, and fastened her to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over his servant and turned the flames upon the lookers-on. Christina was next seized, a heavy stone tied about her neck, and she was thrown into the lake of Bolsena, but she was saved by an angel, and outlived her father, who died of spite.

Later, this martyr suffered the most inhuman torments under the judge who succeeded her father, and finally was thrown into a burning furnace, where she remained, unhurt, for five days. By the power of Christ she overcame the serpents among which she was thrown; then her tongue was cut out, and afterwards, being pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr’s crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Bolsena in Italy, but was long since swallowed up by the waters.

        Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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