The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 16th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 13:10-17.

After giving the Parable of the Sower to the large crowd, Christ’s disciples ask why He is speaking in parables. In response, Christ reveals a glimpse of the supernatural mystery of how God calls all men, accepting that many men will refuse His gracious invitation. He blesses those who seek Him and allows those who reject Him to suffer the consequences.

The parables of Chapter 13 offer a small partial insight into Christ’s Kingdom of Heaven; the fullness of the Kingdom is beyond Man’s ability to comprehend. The Eternal King reveals “secrets” of the Kingdom of Heaven as a rite of initiation to those who are prepared and willing to accept the Kingdom. The “mystery” of the Kingdom is not a puzzle or problem to be solved, but a supernatural revelation that God offers to intrigue and inspire His men to continually commit to seek Him.

As Christ earlier taught the Apostles to deny His teaching to those who are unreceptive (Matt 7:6), He now has begun teaching with parables which make no sense to the unreceptive. For the disciples, and for all all men of good will who seek Christ and His Kingdom, He promises abundant blessings which include a growing peace and joy on earth and the eternal joy in the life to come. Those whom Christ has blessed to be alive and to be exposed to Him, but who reject Him, will lose everything, including their eternal salvation.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine King, Christ purposefully established a hierarchy for the Church by giving authority, the Sacraments and deeper teaching to the Apostles.  Divine Judge, Christ selectively gives Himself to the willing and accepts that many reject Him (at their eternal peril). Divine Prophet, Christ reaffirms the insights He inspired Isaiah to write 700 years earlier.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) In Matthew 13, Christ, the Son of God, offers a glimpse into the Kingdom of Heaven (CCC 543-546). To grow in faith, spend some time reflecting on the truth that God really exists, came to Earth and reveals the supernatural reality of the Kingdom of Heaven.

2) Christ purposefully speaks in dozens of parables, knowing that some will be led to follow Him and others will fail to hear and understand His parables. Reflect upon Christ’s use of Parables (CCC 546, 2607) and commit to ponder Christ’s parables, beginning with the 8 parables found in Matthew 13.

3) After the Apostles were graced to be taught the hidden meaning of Christ’s parables, they passed Christ’s wisdom down through the ages in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Reflect upon the great blessing of the Magisterium of the Church (CCC 994-998, 888-892, 2032-2040), give thanks to Christ and pray that He helps you grow in understanding of His teachings preserved in the Church.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently