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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read from Matthew that those who have been baptized have been brought into the kingdom of heaven. This brings us to be the sons and daughters of the Father. Baptism gives us the Holy Spirit and we can call out to God as our Father and know that we are heard. People still do not believe in Jesus and demand more miracles. Jesus tells them “no sign shall be given.”

The parable of the sower tells about all the sorts of places a seed might fall. The seed is the same and it will grow in some places and in others it will fail. When it falls on rocky ground, it sprouts but cannot grow for long without roots. Just as if we are not rooted in faith we can be easily swayed by opposition and/or persecution. Ultimately we can lose our faith. If the seed falls on the thorny ground it can be choked out by preoccupation with things and worries of this world. Good soil receives the seed and nourishes it. We do not get to choose the sower or the seed, but we can choose what type of soil we can be and how we will care for the seed planted within our souls.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Matthew 11

1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.

2 Now John had heard in prison what Christ was doing and he sent his disciples to ask him,

3 ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect someone else?’

4 Jesus answered, ‘Go back and tell John what you hear and see;

5 the blind see again, and the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor;

6 and blessed is anyone who does not find me a cause of falling.’

7 As the men were leaving, Jesus began to talk to the people about John, ‘What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swaying in the breeze? No?

8 Then what did you go out to see? A man wearing fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothes are to be found in palaces.

9 Then what did you go out for? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet:

10 he is the one of whom scripture says: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you.

11 ‘In truth I tell you, of all the children born to women, there has never been anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.

12 Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm.

13 Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading;

14 and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return.

15 Anyone who has ears should listen!

16 ‘What comparison can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:

17 We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t be mourners.

18 ‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.”

19 The Son of man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.’

20 Then he began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent.

21 ‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22 Still, I tell you that it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on Judgement Day than for you.

23 And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be raised as high as heaven? You shall be flung down to hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet.

24 Still, I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on Judgement Day than for you.’

25 At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children.

26 Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.

27 Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

29 Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30 Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Matthew 12

1 At that time Jesus went through the cornfields one Sabbath day. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them.

2 The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the Sabbath.’

3 But he said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry-

4 how he went into the house of God and they ate the loaves of the offering although neither he nor his followers were permitted to eat them, but only the priests?

5 Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the Sabbath day the Temple priests break the Sabbath without committing any fault?

6 Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple.

7 And if you had understood the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless.

8 For the Son of man is master of the Sabbath.’

9 He moved on from there and went to their synagogue;

10 now a man was there with a withered hand. They asked him, ‘Is it permitted to cure somebody on the Sabbath day?’ hoping for something to charge him with.

11 But he said to them, ‘If any one of you here had only one sheep and it fell down a hole on the Sabbath day, would he not get hold of it and lift it out?

12 Now a man is far more important than a sheep, so it follows that it is permitted on the Sabbath day to do good.’

13 Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was restored, as sound as the other one.

14 At this the Pharisees went out and began to plot against him, discussing how to destroy him.

15 Jesus knew this and withdrew from the district. Many followed him and he cured them all

16 but warned them not to make him known.

17 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

18 Look! My servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul delights, I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will present judgement to the nations;

19 he will not brawl or cry out, his voice is not heard in the streets,

20 he will not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick,

21 until he has made judgement victorious; in him the nations will put their hope.

22 Then they brought to him a blind and dumb demoniac; and he cured him, so that the dumb man could speak and see.

23 All the people were astounded and said, ‘Can this be the son of David?’

24 But when the Pharisees heard this they said, ‘The man drives out devils only through Beelzebul, the chief of the devils.’

25 Knowing what was in their minds he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin; and no town, no household divided against itself can last.

26 Now if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; so how can his kingdom last?

27 And if it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out, through whom do your own experts drive them out? They shall be your judges, then.

28 But if it is through the Spirit of God that I drive out devils, then be sure that the kingdom of God has caught you unawares.

29 ‘Or again, how can anyone make his way into a strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man? Only then can he plunder his house.

30 ‘Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not gather in with me throws away.

31 And so I tell you, every human sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

32 And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next.

33 ‘Make a tree sound and its fruit will be sound; make a tree rotten and its fruit will be rotten. For the tree can be told by its fruit.

34 You brood of vipers, how can your speech be good when you are evil? For words flow out of what fills the heart.

35 Good people draw good things from their store of goodness; bad people draw bad things from their store of badness.

36 So I tell you this, that for every unfounded word people utter they will answer on Judgement Day,

37 since it is by your words you will be justified, and by your words condemned.’

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees spoke up. ‘Master,’ they said, ‘we should like to see a sign from you.’

39 He replied, ‘It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah.

40 For as Jonah remained in the belly of the sea-monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

41 On Judgement Day the men of Nineveh will appear against this generation and they will be its condemnation, because when Jonahpreached they repented; and look, there is something greater than Jonah here.

42 On Judgement Day the Queen of the South will appear against this generation and be its condemnation, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and look, there is something greater than Solomon here.

43 ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of someone it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and cannot find one.

44 Then it says, “I will return to the home I came from.” But on arrival, finding it unoccupied, swept and tidied,

45 it then goes off and collects seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, and so that personends up worse off than before. That is what will happen to this wicked generation.’

46 He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him.

47 Someone said to him: Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to speak to you.

48 But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’

49 And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers.

50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’

Matthew 13

1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside,

2 but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore,

3 and he told them many things in parables. He said, ‘Listen, a sower went out to sow.

4 As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.

5 Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth;

6 but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away.

7 Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

8 Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

9 Anyone who has ears should listen!’

10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’

11 In answer, he said, ‘Because to you is granted to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not granted.

12 Anyone who has will be given more and will have more than enough; but anyone who has not will be deprived even of what he has.

13 The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.

14 So in their case what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah is being fulfilled: Listen and listen, but never understand! Look and look, but never perceive!

15 This people’s heart has grown coarse, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me.

16 ‘But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!

17 In truth I tell you, many prophets and upright people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.

18 ‘So pay attention to the parable of the sower.

19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path.

20 The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy.

21 But such a person has no root deep down and does not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once he falls away.

22 The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing.

23 And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’

24 He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

25 While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.

26 When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, then the darnel appeared as well.

27 The owner’s labourers went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?”

28 He said to them, “Some enemy has done this.” And the labourers said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?”

29 But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it.

30 Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘

31 He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.

32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches.’

33 He told them another parable, ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

34 In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables.

35 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: I will speak to you in parables, unfold what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.

36 Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable about the darnel in the field.’

37 He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of man.

38 The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the Evil One;

39 the enemy who sowed it, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels.

40 Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time.

41 The Son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of falling and all who do evil,

42 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

43 Then the upright will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Anyone who has ears should listen!

44 ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

45 ‘Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls;

46 when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.

47 ‘Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the sea and brings in a haul of all kinds of fish.

48 When it is full, the fishermen bring it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in baskets and throw away those that are no use.

49 This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright,

50 to throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

51 ‘Have you understood all these?’ They said, ‘Yes.’

52 And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old.’

53 When Jesus had finished these parables he left the district;

54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?

55 This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude?

56 His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?’

57 And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is despised only in his own country and in his own house,’

58 and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Provers 19:5-8

5 The false witness will not go unpunished, no one who utters lies will go free.

6 The nobleman has many to court his favour, to a giver of gifts, everyone is friend.

7 The poor man’s brothers hate him, every one; his friends — how much the more do these desert him! He goes in search of words, but there are none to be had.

8 Whoever acquires sense wins profit from it, whoever treasures understanding finds happiness.

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