Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 30th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Luke 13:18-21
The Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 13:18-21.
As crowds rejoice at Christ’s many miracles and His public rebukes of religious leaders who are confused and corrupted, Christ turns the crowd’s attention to the coming Kingdom of Heaven with two short, but powerful, parables which explain and provide hope for those longing for God’s Kingdom to be made present.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is powerful on multiple ways. The parable inspires hope among the disciples that Christ’s Kingdom will come despite starting small (Acts 1:15 numbers the disciples after Christ’s Ascension at only 120!). Like the mustard tree provides a home and savory seeds that feeds the birds, the Church will be home to multitudes (birds is an allusion to the Gentile nations), feeding them with most savory of food, the Eucharist. For the individual, the parable reveals that while most start with a small faith, with time and persistence of prayer (see Luke 11:1-13) every soul can grow into sainthood.
In The Parable of the Leaven, Christ reinforces the theme that the spread of the Kingdom of God is mysterious and far-reaching but reveals the transformational impact of the Word of God. Christ startles the audience with the women’s bread-making effort: 3 measures of meal weights over 90 pounds and would make dozens and dozens loaves of bread. In contrast, the weight of the yeast is negligible, and yet, it leavens the massive amount of meal. So too, the Gospel (the leaven) systematically introduced into the world (meal) will be used by God to mysteriously raise men to becomes sons of the Kingdom of God.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ uses common themes (of trees, leaven) that were “planted” in the Old Testament. Divine Teacher, Christ reveals the Kingdom of Heaven with innovative parables that still draw men two millennia later. Divine Prophet, Christ accurately describes the worldwide growth of the Church. Divine Leader, Jesus inspire His disciples with parables that instill lasting hope, overcoming uncertainty about the promise of the Kingdom.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) From the small band of only about 120 early disciples, the Church has over 1 billion members; there are another billion+ Christians who are not yet in full communion with Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. Marvel at Christ’s divine confidence and accurate prediction of a worldwide Church.
2) In recent times, the grave sexual sins (rape of children, homosexual acts) of priests and coverups by numerous high-ranking clergy has led many of the laity to abandon the Church. Despite the current scandals, realize Christ’s Bride the Church remains unblemished and Holy (CCC 823-829, 867) and pray for Christ to help you remain steadfast and loyal to Him in faith, despite the despicable acts of evil clergy.
3) While remaining steadfast in hope during the dark days of recent priest sex scandals, many faithful experience despair at the growing exodus from the Catholic Church. Return to Hope (CCC 1817-1821), praying for Christ to fill you with hope and joy at the reality of the unstoppable coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.