Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27th Lk. 13: 18-21 Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.”
- In our life, God is the gardener and we are the mustard seed, meant to grow into a large tree so that even the birds of the sky can dwell in it branches.
- Another image? Christ is the vine, we are the branches, and our Heavenly Father is the vine dresser. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (Jn. 15:2)
- To grow into the person God created each of us to become, we must let the Gardener, our Heavenly Father do His work in us – pulling the weeds that will choke and kill the plant! In frequent Confession, the priest is weeding our soul of the big and even the tiny weeds – which turn into big weeds if not attended to – which is why we must tell the priest everything so as to get it all out!
- In Mass and Holy Communion, our loving Father feeds the plant that is our soul with the most nutrient rich food imaginable – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of His own Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
- Finally, through trials and suffering, the Father prunes us, cutting off the branches – the habits, friendships, and activities, that are bad for us! You might say, He rains on our parade! But in that rain, we find true fulfillment, joy and happiness!
- “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor: 1:3-5)
RAIN COME BACK AGAIN, AGAIN AND AGAIN!!! by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
“Rain, rain go away; come again another day!” A very well-known adage often expressed with a frown on your face, as the drapes are drawn and the rain pours down on your party. The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is the perspective or interpretation of reality. A pessimist views the glass as half-empty; whereas the optimist, as half-full! However, the reality is the same! The pessimist is the one always expecting rain on the day of the picnic, even though there is not even one cloud in the sky!
In this short essay we would like to highlight the positive notes of the rain falling from the sky! To all things, there can be the positive or the negative, the optimistic or the pessimistic interpretation of reality. If indeed we are followers of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then we should truly be perpetual optimists. Why not change the word optimist and say rather, a person full of the virtue of hope! The great Saint Augustine states that God can even allow evil, for the purpose of bringing the greatest good out of it! Saint Paul expresses the same idea in these words: “Where sin abounds, the mercy of God abounds all the more.” (Rom. 5:20) This being said, let us return to the blessings, rather than the curse, of rain.
1. GOD AND CREATION. The first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, views God as the Creator. God brings physical reality into existence with His mere desire and word— “Let there be light… water, birds, and animals…”— then they exist. Upon creating all things, God looked down from heaven and said: IT IS GOOD!!! Therefore, the rain trickling from the sky or coming down in buckets is good. Why? For the simple reason that God created the rain and allowed it to descend from the heavens to the earth.
2. DROUGHT. After times of prolonged and extended drought, God allows the skies to open up and the rain to moisten and then fill the earth. How many farmers and those who till the ground, after suffering through a brutal drought, lift up their hands and hearts in praise of God for the gift of rain!
3. SUN: APPRECIATE THE SUN. If it has been raining for a long time, when the rain finally ceases, the clouds disappear, and the sun breaks forth shedding its rays and heat, how easy it is to appreciate the light and warmth produced by the sun! In the absence of some good, and this good can be material, social, family or spiritual—upon its return our appreciation is enhanced all the more. After recovering from a long and painful sickness, health is appreciated all the more.
4. THE TEARS OF JESUS AND MARY. Giving a spiritual and mystical interpretation. We can even imagine the intense pain and sorrow in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary over the many sins that have been committed from Adam and Eve up until the present day and hour, causing their tears to rain down upon the earth. For example, since the legalization of Roe vs. Wade, millions upon millions of innocent babies have been killed through the sin of abortion. Of course this must pierce the Hearts of Jesus and Mary through and through with intense sorrow. As the skies open and rain breaks forth falling from the heavens, may we unite our tears of sorrow with their tears for the many sins of humanity, including the sins of our family and our own personal sins.
5. TEARS AND GRACE. Another mystical interpretation can be the following. Mary has many titles and one is full of grace. Why not offer this mystical interpretation? As we send up to heaven our fervent Hail Marys which form the recitation of the most Holy Rosary, we pray that we will be imbued and consumed with GRACE. May the rainfall call to mind Our Lady’s most powerful prayers, her mantle of protection over us and our whole family, and her constant graces pouring down on us that we so desperately need to avoid sin, live in God’s friendship, and persevere to the end so as to die in grace and gain heaven one day.
6. CLEANSING. Another wonderful effect of rain is that it cleanses or cleans a dirty environment. A dusty and dirty car exposed to a torrential downpour of rain is totally cleaned. This can symbolically signify our soul. When we enter the confessional with a dirty soul, coated with the dirt of mortal sin, once we open up our heart to the priest with true repentance and receive absolution, grace pours into our soul, and like the downpour of rain on a dirty car, leaves our soul white as the snow. Hopefully the rainfall will remind many dirty souls, sullied by mortal sin, that now is the time to return to God’s grace and friendship by means of a good Sacramental Confession! May we allow Confession to wash away our sins, as well as bad memories of the past that can come back to haunt us and even torture our conscience.
7. RAINBOW. If it were not for the reality of rain, and rain giving way to sunlight, then the majestic beauty of a rainbow would never be seen. Its glory would never become a reality. How many poets, writers, and painters have delighted in the reality of the RAINBOW!!! God is the greatest artist and after the rain has ceased, God Himself seems to take a brush and paint the sky with a huge and colorful arc! Let the words of the Psalmist be ours: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name through all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens!” (Psalm 8:1)
In conclusion, the next time you open up the curtains and are surprised by a downpour of rain, may you praise, worship, and offer thanksgiving to the Lord for the many gifts that He plans to give to you as the skies pour down that fresh, pure, clear, and glorious rainfall. May the words of the Psalmist resound in your heart: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. (Ps. 107:8)
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA