Call to worship

Today, we hear three parables about God’s generous, all-encompassing love. Each parable proclaims that the  Kingdom of God is filled 2ith mercy, acceptance and patience. We are called to be discern God’s will, to grow into mature disciples qnd to open ourselves to the transformation to which God continually calls us.

  • To the point: “The kingdom of heaven is like …” Jesus uses three comparisons to explain this mystery of God’s Presence and reign. The first parable about wheat mixed with weeds speaks of discernment; in the second, the tiny mustard seed speaks of full growth; the third about yeast in dough speaks of transformation. In all this, we can find the realization of the kingdom of heaven — our discerning of God’s will, our growing into full stature as “children of the kingdom,” and opening ourselves to being transformed into those remaining faithful until “the end of the age.” The way we live reveals God’s “mastery over all things” (first reading) and that we have become “what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.”
  • Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 13:24-23) to the first reading: God’s presence and reign is visible in the slow but steady process of God’s “mastery over all things” (first reading). Our own discernment of God’s will for our lives, our growth in goodness, and our transformation into who God calls us to be is dependent upon God’s care, justice, leniency, kindness, forgiveness.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Our cultural expectation of “mastery” includes power over others, control, domination, force, manipulation. In contrast God’s “might is the source of justice.” And so God’s mastery unfolds in the strikingly different ways described in the first reading.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Matthew 13:24-43) 

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed …”

A massive tree grows from a tiny seed.
Like the mustard tree, with the birds of the sky
dwelling in its branches, you have given all of us 
all we need to grow into your loving family.
Let us care deeply for each other
and for our environment for its air, plants,
water and peaceful beasts.
Nourish us with your grace.
Help us grow in care.
One tiny grace is enough for us.

The First Reading

(Wisdom 12:13, 16-19)

“For though you are the master of might, you judge with clemency …”

Gentle God, you teach, by Jesus’ example,
that justice is kind, that power can be merciful.
Let us learn from you.

The Second Reading

(Romans 8:26-27)

“For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself
intercedes with inexpressible groanings.”

Holy Spirit, dwelling in us, 
take our trivial prayers,
and weave them into your own.
When the Father searches our hearts,
please show him your infinite acts of love
 intertwined with our little ones.

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection