Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:44-52
Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ 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 things both new and old.’
It was the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time on 27 July 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on that day are shown in the previous page & above:
First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12,
Responsorial: Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130,
Second Reading: Romans 8:28-30 &
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:44-52.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Tomorrow the liturgy will commemorate Saints Joachim and Anne, whom tradition, dating to the apocryphal Gospel of James, venerates as the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This occasion prompts me to devote a few words to old age and its value, also because 1999 is the International Year of Older Persons.
The so-called "third age" is first of all a value in itself by the very fact that life is prolonged and life is a gift of God. It also brings some special "talents" due to the wealth of experience, knowledge and teaching which the elderly possess. This is why in all cultures old age is synonymous with wisdom and common sense. By their very presence, older people remind everyone, especially the young, that life on earth is a "parable" with its own beginning and end: to find its fulfilment, life must be based on values that are not transient and superficial, but solid and profound.
2. In industrially and technologically advanced societies, the condition of the elderly is ambivalent: on the one hand, they are less and less integrated into the fabric of the family and society; but on the other, their role is becoming ever more important, especially for the care and education of grandchildren. Young couples, in fact, find grandparents to be an indispensable help. In one way, then, the elderly are marginalized and, on the other, they are sought after. All this reveals the typical imbalance of a social model dominated by economics and profit, which tends to penalize "non-productive" groups, considering persons more for their usefulness than for themselves.
3. In this context it is all the more necessary to draw the truth about the human person and, in particular, about the elderly, from the fresh sources of divine Revelation. In Sacred Scripture old age is surrounded with veneration (cf. 2 Maccabees 6:23). The just man does not ask to be deprived of old age and its burdens; on the contrary, he prays: "You O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.... So even to old age and grey hairs, O God, do not forsake me, till I proclaim your might to all the generations to come" (Psalm 71 :5, 18).
On the threshold of the New Testament, it is precisely Joachim and Anne who prepare for the Messiah's coming by welcoming Mary as a gift of God and offering her to the world as the immaculate "ark of salvation". According to the apocryphal Gospel of James, they in turn were welcomed and revered by the Holy Family of Nazareth, which thus becomes a model of tender care for them.
I pray to Saints Joachim and Anne, and especially to their sublime Daughter, the Mother of the Saviour, for loving understanding towards the elderly, so that in our society the family in all its members will know how "to guard, reveal and communicate love" (Familiaris consortio, n. 17).
After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father spoke briefly to those present.
This is the first Sunday I am spending at Castel Gandolfo after my return from Val d'Aosta, so I would like to extend a cordial greeting to the mayor and to the dear citizens of Castello with whom I will be staying, as usual, until the end of summer. I am glad that my arrival coincides with the annual "peach festival". This gives me an opportunity to express a special greeting to everyone involved this season in harvesting the precious fruits of the earth.
I also greet the pilgrims who have come here today, in particular the female students who are taking part in the Rui Foundation's European University Meeting and the group of young people from the Italian Association of St Vincent.
The Holy Father concluded by greeting his visitors in French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 21 July 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. The memory of the World Youth Day during the Great Jubilee that took place in Rome at Tor Vergata in August 2000 is still very much alive in my heart. On those unforgettable days, the young believers kindled for everyone a fire of hope. They are set to meet in Toronto in a few days to observe the 17th World Youth Day so that they can continue their common pilgrimage of brotherhood over the face of the globe.
The tragic events of 11 September and the conflict in the Holy Land have cast over the world a dark shadow. Jesus urges his disciples not to be afraid and repeats to them: "You are the salt of the earth ... You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-14). The young Christians who will meet in Toronto are ready to reply to Christ: Here we are! At your word, without fear, we will throw out the nets of the Gospel (cf. Luke 5:5).
In a special way, I want to mention their peers who are unable to be present in person and will follow the event in the news media. We will all be united in prayer, invoking the one Spirit who makes Christians one Body in Christ.
Toronto in Canada, the metropolis with a cosmopolitan vocation, is ready to become for a week the world capital of youth, the future and the hope of the Church and of humanity! Even now I greet and thank those who are working to welcome the young pilgrims who will arrive with the Bishops, priests and religious who have accompanied them: Thank you very much! Merci beaucoup!
3. Dear French-speaking pilgrims, I cordially greet you and invite you to pray for the young people who are gathering in Canada for World Youth Day. May this important time help them to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. With my Apostolic Blessing.
I extend a special welcome to the English-speaking visitors, hoping that the summer season will bring time for reflection and for reading the Scriptures. God bless you and your families!
I warmly greet the pilgrims from the German-speaking countries. I pray that you will become the "salt of the earth", on the basis of your vocation as Christians. I am especially looking forward to meeting with all the young people in Toronto!
I greet with affection the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, especially the members of "La Obra de la Iglesia" (Work of the Church). I invite you all to sow peace and hope, in this way becoming "salt of the earth", spiritually united with the young people from all over the world whom I will meet during the forthcoming Youth Day in Toronto.
I also greet the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims and I ask them all for the benefit of their prayer and sacrifice, so that my pastoral visit to the Americas may bear great fruit. God bless you all!
I greet with affection the Italian-speaking pilgrims, especially the participants in the international course for seminary formation directors, organized by the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum of the Legionaries of Christ, and the group of sisters and novices of the Carmelites of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Rocca di Papa.
4. I entrust everyone to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking her to obtain for all those taking part in the World Youth Day a great outpouring of graces and blessings. Today I ask you to pray for this special intention as we pray the Angelus.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I returned last Monday from Sydney, Australia, the venue of the 23rd World Youth Day. I still have this extraordinary experience in my eyes and heart, during which I experienced the youthful face of the Church: it was like a multi-coloured mosaic, formed by young men and women from all parts of the world, all gathered together in the one faith in Jesus Christ: "young pilgrims of the world", as the people called them, using a beautiful expression that captures the essential in these international initiatives first made by John Paul II. In fact, these meetings form the stages of a great pilgrimage across the planet. They show that faith in Christ makes all of us children of the one Father who is in Heaven, and builders of the civilization of love.
A characteristic of the Sydney meeting was the awareness of the centrality of the Holy Spirit, the protagonist of the life of the Church and the Christian. The long process of preparation in the particular Churches followed the theme of the promise that the Risen Christ made to the Apostles: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1: 8). On 16, 17 and 18 July, the numerous Bishops present exercised their ministry in Sydney's churches, offering catecheses in the various languages: these catecheses are moments of reflection and recollection, indispensable so that the event does not remain merely an external expression but leaves a deep mark on consciences. The evening Vigil, in the heart of the city under the Southern Cross, was a unanimous invocation of the Holy Spirit; and at the end, during the great Eucharistic celebration last Sunday, I administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 24 young people from various continents, 14 of whom were Australian, inviting everyone present to renew their baptismal promises. This World Youth Day was thus transformed into a new Pentecost, from which began the mission of the youth, called to be apostles of their peers, as were so many Saints and Blesseds - and in particular, Bl. Piergiorgio Frassati - whose relics, which had been brought to Sydney Cathedral, were venerated by an uninterrupted stream of young pilgrims. Every young man and woman was invited to follow their example, to share their personal experience of Jesus, who changes the life of his "friends" with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God's love.
Today I want to thank once again the Bishops of Australia and, in particular, the Archbishop of Sydney, for their hard work of preparation and for the warm welcome they gave me and all the other pilgrims. I thank the Australian civil authorities for their precious collaboration. I extend my special thanks to all of those who, in every part of the world, prayed for this event, assuring its success. May the Virgin Mary repay each one with the most beautiful graces. I also entrust to Mary the period of rest that, I shall, from tomorrow, be spending in Bressanone, in the mountains of the Alto Adige. Let us remain united in prayer!
After the Angelus:
I greet the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims who are here today and I wish you all a pleasant stay in Italy. This Sunday's Gospel reminds us that we should treasure above all else the faith that has been given to us. I pray that your visit to Rome and the surrounding area will help you to deepen your faith and to grow in your love for our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you all!
A good Sunday to you all!
10 August 2014