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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for July 23

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

July 23, 2017 —Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:24-43
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

A man was walking on the beach and stumbled over a lamp. He brushed off the sand, and out came a genie, thanking him and granting him one wish. The man said, “My brother and I had a fight over something silly thirty years ago. He’s never forgiven me, and I want to be reconciled with him.” “Done,” said the genie. “He is now your best friend. But most people would ask for wealth or power. Why did you ask for reconciliation? Are you getting old and ready to die?” “No, I’m not,” replied the man. “But my brother is, and he’s worth sixty million dollars.” We have much more reason than sixty million dollars to be reconciled with God, because God wants to give us eternal life!

Only our sins can keep us from receiving this most wonderful of gifts. Today’s Gospel teaches that God is always ready to forgive those sins. We live in a world where weeds of sin grow along with the wheat of goodness. There will be a final harvest, but until then God can turn weeds into wheat. He does this by forgiving our sins and enriching us with his grace.

God offers forgiveness for even the worst of sins in the Sacrament of Penance. Mortal sins, which can bring eternal death, are wiped away in confession. Where the field of the soul was laid waste by the overgrowth of sin, the wheat of virtue can now flourish. Lesser sins, venial sins, may not destroy the soul’s harvest, but they can lessen it. These venial sins can be forgiven by a sincere act of sorrow.

Today’s Gospel invites us to grow in our appreciation and use of the Sacrament of Penance.  We should also make frequent acts of contrition, paying special attention to those at Mass – the Penitential Rite, Our Father, and Lamb of God.

Genies can’t help us be reconciled with God. Our Blessed Mother can. So we pray: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”




             Read last week's reflection.