When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him . . . when he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
- When has sorrow brought me to deeper compassion?
- Whose death challenged me to be a better person?
- What hungers are there around me that I can feed?
- The fall of a leaf is a whisper to the living.
- Joy and sorrow are next door neighbors.
- What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly
(God said) “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Solomon answered: “Give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right
from wrong”. . . (God said) “I do as you requested.”
pleased with Solomon’s request and gives him a heart that is wise and understanding. God desires to do the same for us.
- At this time in my life, what do I request from God?
- In what situation could I use some wisdom right now?
- How do I determine what is right or wrong: Bible, Church teaching, advice from trusted friends, “gut” feeling, or prayer?
God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
lesson to glean from this story. The Kingdom of heaven is here already, planted like a seed in the hearts of those who believe. When we feed the hungry, forgive those who hurt us, act justly, practice charity, we make the kingdom evident. But within all of us, weeds grow. Weeds that produce dissent, alienation, anger and brokenness. God doesn’t write us off because of these weeds but gives us amply time to work through them so that hopefully, by the end of our lives, we will have surrendered to the power of grace, expressed our contrition and turned our weeds into a bountiful field of wheat.
- I will name some of my “weeds.” Which ones can I surrender to God this week?
- Pray for the grace to make a good confession and really start over.
- When looking at others, I often see their “weeds” of weakness, more than their “wheat” of goodness. I will ask for the grace to see the person as God sees.
- How can I be a tiny seed of justice today?
- Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past.
- Sometimes silence is golden, other times it is just plain yellow.
- To lift your soul, first bend your knees.
“He who has ears, let him hear.”
- How good am I at listening? What things do I “not want to hear?”
- How am I being challenged to change as a result of this gospel story?
- What names would I give to my “rocky soil” or my “thorn bushes”?
- We have two ears and one mouth. The proportions of how much we are to listen and speak.
- The brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks.
- The one who sings their own praises is usually out of tune.
- Do I allow Jesus’ yoke to rest lightly on my shoulders or do I struggle to do things “my way”?
- What heavy burdens do I lay on the shoulders of another?
- A yoke connects two animals for a common purpose. When I allow myself to be yoked with Jesus, I am committed to the same mission as Jesus. How do others see Jesus in me?
- To receive direction from God, you must receive correction from God.
- God has a big eraser.
- Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall? To make up for a bad summer.