The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 16th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 13:1-9.

After humiliating the Pharisees and withdrawing to avoid their murderous plans, Christ teaches the huge crowds that follow Him with a series of parables (Matt 13) about the hidden mysteries of His Kingdom present in the Church. A parable is short story that uses familiar images to draw the willing to ponder a cryptic deeper truth. Christ uses parables to draw the humble to ponder and hunger for God and to conceal His teachings from the prideful and to pronounce judgment on those who reject Him.

Leaving the house (likely Peter’s), Christ goes out by the Sea of Galilee and sits, assuming the honored posture of a rabbi. Because of the crush of a great crowd that followed Him, He went out in a boat to teach those standing on the shore. Using His knowledge of natural acoustics and His robust voice, the thousands on the shore can hear Him.

Christ begins the teachings about the Kingdom of God with the Parable of the Sower, using imagery very familiar to the crowd; all were familiar with agriculture and Jews would recall that the “Sower” often refers to God in the Old Testament (Isa 55:10-11; Jer 31:27-28). This magnificent parable describes the disposition of men to hear God, the Spiritual Combat, the confirmation of Satan’s work in the world and God’s expectations of men to be fruitful.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of Man, Christ uses His immense physical power and stamina to be heard by large crowds. Divine Teacher, full of Wisdom and the Greatest Orator, Christ uses compelling and memorable parables that draw on everyday experience to selectively teach those willing to hear. Divine Judge, Christ uses parables to reveal the truth about eternal reward and eternal punishment.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) From HIs Divine Conception until now and forever, Christ draws the multitudes to Himself. Be awed at the mysterious power of Christ to convert the hearts and minds of billions of people. To draw closer to your King, commit to take a Holy Hour in Adoration this week.

2) With the myriad of human knowledge, trivialities and perversion on the internet, many men fritter away hours a day, saturating their minds with useless information and damning filth. Reflect upon the Wisdom of Christ (CCC 215-217, 426-429) and pray for Christ to help you saturate your mind with wisdom that helps you grow in holiness.

3) With the Father from the beginning, Christ created the world and, during the Incarnation, Christ spent time in solitude in nature and used nature extensively in His parables. Reflect upon God’s Creation of The Visible World (CCC 299, 337-354) and ask Christ to turn you from the “virtual world” of the internet and to regularly spend time in communion with Christ in His Creation.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful