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Sunday, July 26 Readings


God Speaks to Families Through the Sunday Readings

First Reading

1 Kings 3:5,7-12

Solomon pleases God when he asks for a wise and understanding heart to better govern the people.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130

Lord, I love Your commands.

Second Reading

Romans 8:28-30

God chose us to be conformed to the image of His Son.

Gospel Reading

Matthew 13:44-52 (shorter form: Matthew 13:44-46)

Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of Heaven.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today’s Gospel concludes three weeks of readings from the 13th Chapter of Matthew’s Gos-pel. Throughout these three weeks we have heard Jesus teaching crowds about the kingdom of heaven, and we have heard Jesus interpret some of His teachings for the disciples. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus offers three more short parables.

The first two parables describe the great value of the kingdom of heaven. In the first parable, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a buried treasure that is worth possessing even if it means giving up everything else. In the second parable, Jesus proposes that the kingdom of heav-en is like a pearl of great worth for which one will sell everything else to possess. These parables teach us that we are to place everything we value in the service of the pursuit of the Kingdom of God.

The third parable that Jesus proposes in today’s Gospel is different from the first two, but it is reminiscent of the parable of the sower heard in last week’s Gospel. The kingdom of heaven is compared to fishing with a wide net. After the fish have been collected, the good fish are kept and the bad fish are thrown away; so too, in the final judgment, will the wicked and the righteous be separated.

Today’s Gospel concludes with a curious statement about the scribe who understands the kingdom of heaven. Here a metaphor is offered: this scribe is like the head of a household who

“brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” The scribes referred to here are experts of Mosaic law. It is possible that Jesus is here instructing the early Christian community on how to proceed in the interpretation of Jewish law with respect to Jesus’ “new” teaching. Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of heaven does not replace the Jewish tradition; it interprets it in a different light.

Family Connection

Like the person who found the buried treasure and the merchant who acquired the pearl of great price, we seek to find the signs of the kingdom of heaven in our lives. In fact, we even work to bring about God’s kingdom in our actions and in our words. We pray that our family values reflect our pursuit of the kingdom of heaven. As Jesus’ disciples, we place everything we value in the ser-vice of the pursuit of the Kingdom of God.

As you gather as a family, talk about what your family values. Make a list together of those things that your family considers most important, such as family, friends, faith, trust and love. Place this list before you as you read today’s Gospel in its shorter form, Matthew 13:44-46. In these para-bles, Jesus teaches us that it is worth giving up even valuable things in order to possess the king-dom of heaven. Look at the list your family made and talk about how these things are important to the kingdom of heaven. What has your family given up to make these values important in your life? As Jesus’ disciples, we place everything we value in the service of the pursuit of the Kingdom of God. Pray together for God’s kingdom by praying the Lord’s Prayer.

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