23 July, Saturday – Living Out Our Faith

23 July – Memorial for St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious

Coming from a noble yet religious background, St. Bridget (1302-1373) was friend and counsellor to many priests and theologians of her day. As chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur, she counselled and guided the Queen and King Magnus II. She was harassed by others at the court for pursuing a religious life.
She eventually renounced her title of princess and became the foundress of the Order of the Most Holy Savior (Bridgettines), chastening and counselling kings and Popes Clement VI, Urban VI, and Gregory XI. St. Bridget encouraged all who would listen to meditate on the Passion, and of Jesus Crucified.

– Patron Saint Index

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Jeremiah 7:1-11

The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘Go and stand at the gate of the Temple of the Lord and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who come in by these gates to worship the Lord. The Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will stay with you here in this place. Put no trust in delusive words like these: This is the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord! But if you do amend your behaviour and your actions, if you treat each other fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow (if you do not shed innocent blood in this place), and if you do not follow alien gods, to your own ruin, then here in this place I will stay with you, in the land that long ago I gave to your fathers for ever. Yet here you are, trusting in delusive words, to no purpose! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow alien gods that you do not know? – and then come presenting yourselves in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe – safe to go on committing all these abominations! Do you take this Temple that bears my name for a robbers’ den? I, at any rate, am not blind – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

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Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus put another parable before the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’

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The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

I chanced upon this article and felt I shouldn’t rewrite it, so here it is for you to enjoy. May it speak to you as it did to me.

“A friend recently wrote to me about how prolific her garden was, but that the weeds were prospering as well. She said that because of the rains, the weeds would be easy to pull up. I thought how when we allow the rain of God’s word into our life, the lies, untruths and deceptions are also easy to weed out. But if the word is not given its place of priority, then when those evils take root and the ground hardens, how hard it is to pull up the weeds! Have you ever tried to pull a weed out of a dry, caked, hardened piece of ground? What usually happens is you pull off the green foliage above the soil, but the root remains, only to quickly grow up again. Notice the word ‘quickly’. Weeds don’t grow slowly. But the trick in pulling them up successfully is to soak the ground with water, soften the soil and then weed-pulling becomes a pleasure again. I remember when I was a boy and I had to weed my Dad’s garden. The tops of the weeds would come off and I would say to myself, “Oh, well, at least it LOOKS LIKE I got that weed out. Dad won’t know,” and I would leave it, being satisfied with that. In the spiritual realm, apathy towards the weeds in our life is just as deadly to us as the real weeds are to the future fruit of a vegetable garden. Water, or the word of God, plays a crucial part in both the natural realm and the spiritual in staying weed-free.

There is a time to distinguish between darnel and wheat. The fruit of the darnel is smaller than the fruit produced by true wheat. They say the difference is very distinguishable and obvious, and the difference in the sizes of the seeds makes separating them an easy task. There are those who have convulsed, been made drunk, trembled uncontrollably, stammered in their speech, were stupefied, turned giddy, etc., who have tried to tell us that that was wheat. There are also those who have not fallen into such things, but have brought confusion into the Church with darnel such as the non-Trinitarian doctrine, a watered-down gospel, and agendas that lead the Church off into corporate efforts God never sanctioned. Are these things wheat or darnel? Some are obviously darnel, while with others, it takes time to make the distinction. This I know for sure: The One who planted the good seed which bears fruit will come back to harvest His wheat, and not one grain of darnel will be found in the barn.” Adapted from http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/tares.html.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that we may not just take the easy way out and choose the most comfortable path for ourselves, but it is also to be able to be patient for you will reveal to us the fruits of our labour, for us to choose the path that will lead us to you. Help us to be fervent in our prayer, that we may be able to distinguish between your will and that of the evil one. Help make our hearts like yours. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord for your Word, for touching our lives and speaking to us. Thank you for your mercy, graces and your love. Amen.

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