16th Week, Wednesday, Jul 22

Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10 / Matthew 13:1-9 
Jeremiah protests his calling: “I am too young!”

John Powell writes in Through Seasons of the Heart: “There’s an old Christian tradition that God sends each person into this world with a special message to deliver, with a special song to sing for others, with a special act of love to bestow. “No one can speak my message, or sing my song, or offer my act of love. These are entrusted to me.” None of us is too young, too weak, or too old to deliver a message, sing a song, or bestow an act of love. Regardless of who we are, we have a mission to fulfill in this world. It was given to us by God himself.
Do we look upon our talents as gifts to be shared with others? “God has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have a mission.” John Cardinal Newman
For those of us who live in an urban environment, it is often said that we live in a concrete jungle. But even though it may be a concrete jungle, we know our way around, we have electricity at our disposal and gadgets to get on with our work and other devices for our entertainment.

But when we move out to the countryside, we may be awed by nature with its so many varieties with its sounds and colours and to see how animals and plants grow and multiply. If we were shown some seeds, we may not be able to identify them to their species nor will we know what type of plant or tree it they would grow into.

But certainly, God will know, and He creates with a divine plan and order that each seed will have a future of growth and add to the wonder and beauty of His creation. And even for us, as the prophet Jeremiah says in the 1st reading, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you."

Each of us have a purpose in God's plan. For Jeremiah it was to be a prophet to the nations. But like the seeds in the gospel parable, there will be challenges and difficulties when it comes to fulfilling God's plan and purpose for us.

But like what the Lord told Jeremiah: There, I am putting my words into your mouth. Look today I am setting you over nations and over kingdoms, to tear up and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant. May our ears listen to the Word of God so that our mouths will always be ready to speak His Word and to bear a harvest for the Lord.
Wednesday July 22

Mary Magdalene


In the first reading, we hear how the people of God starts its march to a land of their own where they can serve God in freedom and be the living kingdom of God: the Promised Land. But the journey will be long, slow-paced, marked with sufferings, confusions and hesitations, momentary revolts and betrayals. But God is with them: he does not sleep, says today’s text. For the Hebrews and for us, God stands sentinel in the night.
Jesus is presented today as the servant of God who brings healing to the people without drawing attention to himself: He brings God’s tender care to people. He respects and heals what is little and brittle.

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
you gave us Jesus, your Son,
as the wise and perfect servant
of you and of the people.
Put your Spirit on us too,
that like him and with him,
we may bring your healing and justice
to the weak and the dispossessed,
without calling attention to ourselves,
that people may see that what we give them
is your tender care as taught us
by Jesus Christ, our Lord.

No one is more heartbroken at the death of a person than his own mother. At the tragic death of Jesus, Mother Mary was truly heartbroken. “A sword will pierce your heart,” Simeon had prophesied to her long ago. If so, shouldn’t Jesus have chosen his own mother to be the first to receive the good news of his resurrection and see him in person? Why did he then grant this privilege to Mary of Magdala?
It was for the fitness of it that Mary of Nazareth was the one chosen to conceive the divine child, for no one else on earth was a more worthy receptacle than her. However, it is a sinner—one who had plunged deep into the dark abyss of despair and separation from God—who would best appreciate and know in person the promise of the resurrection. By some accounts, Mary of Magdala had been a sinner, and had known the bitter taste of sin. Like the bride in the Song of Songs, she was desperately in need of a groom who would offer her love and new life. Who else other than she would be the worthiest recipient of the good news of the resurrection?

– That we may learn from Jesus to be discreet in our love and service to the poor, we pray:
– That we may learn from Jesus to be very respectful of people and care especially for those wounded in life, we pray:
– That Jesus may give us his Holy Spirit to work for justice and righteousness in our world, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
this bread and wine we bring before you
will become among us
your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
Let your and his Spirit rest on us, too,
and let him renew us
as people who live without compromise
the message of justice and love
and the very life of your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
you have called us to be brothers and sisters
of Jesus your Son,
and to share in his task
of serving and healing.
Fill us with his compassion
and his discreet and tender love,
that lifts up those broken in life
and those wounded by sin.
Help us to restore people in their human dignity
and to make them aware that they are
sons and daughters you love
in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

We have heard God say about Jesus that he is the servant he likes. Jesus makes us servants with him. May we too, be pleasing to God, and may Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.