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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Reflection 2020-07-27 Monday 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 13:1-11; Deuteronomy 32; Matthew 13:31-35
The First Reading speaks of God’s plan for Judah and Jerusalem. He kept them close to him, so they can cling to him, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise and a glory. God concluded: but they would not listen. Since they would not listen, they will be like the loin cloth Jeremiah bought and hid in the river. They will be ruined and good for nothing. This is what happens when we do not listen to God. The Canticle today is from Deuteronomy and it speaks of Judah forgetting God. God leaves them to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Society has forgotten about God. They have rejected him and some wonder, why all these are happening. Some say, this pandemic is the result of neglecting the environment. The truth is the pandemic is the result of humanity’s sinfulness, of humanity’s rejection of God, thinking we can achieve anything through human effort. Because of this arrogance, God leaves us to our own desires. The First Reading says: they made me jealous with what is no god, provoked me with their idols… But there is hope because it says: the Lord will vindicate his people, when he sees that their power is gone. God will come and save when we realize the idols we made cannot help us.
In the Gospel today, Jesus gives two examples of the kingdom of God: the mustard seed and the yeast that works through the dough. In both examples, Jesus shows the mustard seed and the yeast have a specific purpose. And they fulfill their purpose when they are allowed to do what they were created for. We too have a purpose in life. We grow when we do what is expected of us. Just as God does not expect the mustard seed to produce figs, or he does not expect the yeast to produce wheat. God does not expect us to do what he did not create us to do. All of us have a purpose in life and we give glory to God only when we live out that purpose.
While it is normal to aspire to better ourselves, we need to aspire to be the person God wants us to be, not someone we want to be. When we aspire to be someone we want to be, then we fulfill what the First Reading says: refuse to hear my words, stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them. When that happens, our life will be destroyed and useless.
Many say God loves you as you are and God accepts you as you are. This is true but this is just the first step because God loves you so much, he will not allow you to remain as you are. To remain as I am is to accept my unfulfilled and useless life. We were not created for our glory. We were created for God’s glory. And a fulfilled life gives glory to God. When we accept what God has planned for us, and turn to him to make us be the person he wants us to be, then like the mustard seed and the yeast that works through the dough, we fulfill our purpose in life.
Lord, I come to you and accept that you love me as I am. But I also realize, you love me so much that you want me to become more than what I am, and make me into the person you want me to be. Give me the courage to trust you, to accept your plan for me, so I may fulfill what you want for me. Teach me to turn away from trusting in myself, to trusting you. Jesus, I trust I you.

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