Sunday, July 20, 2008
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”
"Domine, non sum dignus...
Lord, I am not worthy
... ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea"
to receive Thee under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
I have to admit that the Gospel reading above was not the reading I heard this afternoon. This was what I heard:
Luke 18:9-11 (Douay-Rheims)
And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.
Yes, brothers and sisters, if you are fans of the Traditional Roman Rite of 1962, you may recognize this Gospel for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost. What point am I driving to? I am very excited to just type this here: I attended my first Latin Mass this afternoon! Being brought up in the Novus Ordo Mass, I had no idea what a Latin Mass was like until I experienced it this afternoon.
After having spent the previous night at a house of a very close friend, something made me attend Mass in their parish. I then realized that their parish celebrated a Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I made my way to the church, all the while realizing the need for a missal. Good thing a very kindly lady already seated on one of the pews lent hers.
Actually during the start of the rite, I tried to recall all the videos I have watched about the Traditional Rite, and I began to get excited at the fact that I was about to witness everything before my very eyes. The silence was invigorating, inspiring, elevating!
What led my soul to great joy was when I saw the Host and the Chalice elevated, and later the Host coming into my very being in such a special way: kneeling, tongue out, and the priest giving it himself. My inner yearning for such a way of celebrating and assisting at Holy Mass has at last been realized. I can only praise the Lord for such grace!
Today's Gospel in the Liturgy of the Ordinary Roman Form (The Parable of the Weeds) tells us of how both seeds and weeds can be planted within us. How often do we allow God to uproot our weeds? The Gospel also gives His people a chance to reform themselves, by how He allowed the weeds and seeds to grow, so that at the hour of uprooting the weeds, only weeds are indeed eliminated. How will God look at us on the Day of Judgment?
Interestingly, this connects with today's Gospel reading in the Liturgy of the Extraordinary Form (The Pharisee and the Publican). The reading highlights how all of us are prone to sin, and how we ought to seek forgiveness from God and to come humbly before Him.
Lord, grant that we may not become weeds, but help us bear fruit and spread seeds of holy faith. Amen.
Saint Stanislaus Kostka, pray for us.
photo credits: http://www.life.uiuc.edu/ib/363/image/Wheat2.jpeg, http://stirringsandechoes.blogspot.com/2007/10/gestures-of-prayer.html, http://www.montanalatinmass.com/images/elevationoftheeucharist_ql2x.jpg
* I attended this very beautiful Mass at the Divine Mercy Parish, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.