'Tis the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Tempus per annum, "time through the year"): Wikipedia-link.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Sixteenth in Ordinary Time
The Book of Wisdom, chapter twelve, verses thirteen & sixteen thru nineteen;
Psalm Eighty-six (R/. five[a]), verses five & six, nine & ten, & fifteen & sixteen;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-six & twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-four thru forty-three
(or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-four thru thirty).
Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel features one of Jesus’ most beloved parables: that of the mustard seed. "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants."City of God, St. Augustine opined that the Church is like Noah’s ark, a small ship bouncing on the rough seas of history. As the great empires come and go, as the waves of history crash noisily against the shore, God’s kingdom is quietly advancing, unnoticed but inevitable.
How does God tend to work? What does the building up of the kingdom typically look like? From the very small to the very great—and by a slow, gradual process. God tends to operate under the radar, on the edges of things, quietly, clandestinely, not drawing attention to himself.
One of my very favorite images from C. S. Lewis speaks to this principle. How, he asks, did God enter history? Quietly, in a forgotten corner of the Roman Empire—sneaking, as it were, behind enemy lines.Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Sunday Reflection.
Video reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire): Sunday Sermon.
Audio reflection by Scott Hahn, Ph.D. (St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology): Breaking the Bread.
Scripture Study—Day 91: Contentness Plateau, Day 28
The Second Book of Samuel, chapter ten, verses six thru fourteen.
Commentary: The Ammonites & Syrians Are Defeated (2 Samuel, 10:6-14).
Otherwise, 19 July would be the festival of Saint Epaphras of Colossae, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 64), inaugural Bishop of Colossae, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Colossae.
Commentary: Wayback Machine. Mentioned in St.Paul's [25 January, 29 June] epistles to the Colossians & to Philemon.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Macrina the Younger, Virgin (circa 327-379): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: The granddaughter & namesake of St. Macrina the Elder [14 January], the daughter of Ss. Basil the Elder & Emmelia [30 May], & the sister of Ss. Basil the Great [2 January], Naucratius [?], Peter of Sebaste [9 January], & Gregory of Nyssa [10 January].
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Arsenius the Great, Deacon & Hermit (circa 354-450, of Scetis & Turah; A.K.A. the Roman), one of the Desert Fathers: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Desert Fathers.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Symmachus, Pope (circa 460-514), fifty-first (LI) Bishop of Rome (498-514), who worked against both the Antipope Laurentius & the Acacian schism (484-519): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontifex-link & Wikipedia-link Pontifex; & Wikipedia-link Antipope & Wikipedia-link Schism.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Autpert Ambrose, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 730-784), abbot of the abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno (777-781): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link San Vincenzo al Volturno.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint John Plessington, Priest & Martyr (circa 1637-1679, A.K.A. William Scarisbrick, William Pleasington), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles II, a victim of the perjurer Titus Oates's "Popish Plot" hoax; one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Popish Plot-link & Wikipedia-link Popish Plot, & Martyrs-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"If fear of God is taken away from the soul, the word holiness, the supreme perfection of our being, no longer has any meaning. In addition, the word sin, which is an absurd violation of Divine Law, no longer has any meaning."Saint Quote o' the Day
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, r. 1963-1978; feast: 29 May)
"Patience, prayer, & silence. These are what give strength to the soul."Mother Teresa Quote o' the Day
—St. Maria Faustyna of the Blessed Sacrament (1905-1938, feast: 5 October)
"I have seen every disease. I have seen people suffer in unimaginable ways. But I tell you, one of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody."Archbishop Sheen Quote o' the Day
—St. Teresa of Calcutta, M.C. (1910-1997, feast: 5 September)
"A priest who was in the German prison camp Dachau describes the Mass after all the German guards were in bed. He said, 'Our lives were in danger if we were ever discovered. A young priest had to memorize the names of all of those who had received communion, but it was forbidden for us to gather in groups for prayer. After night call & bed check, we would set our guards, darken the windows, & the lucky one to be chosen to celebrate for this momentous occasion would carefully brush his pathetic prison garb, put the stole over his shoulders, & by the small light of his smuggled candle begin the commemoration of that other great Passion of which our own was the physical continuation. We could understand the Mass. All that could crowd into the room were there, tears of joy running down our cheeks. Christ the Lord, Who knew what suffering was, was coming to suffer with us, to bring us strength & consolation. The small hosts were broken into as many particles as possible so the greatest number could communicate. We had to keep a secret roster of those who received. We missed some of the liturgy perhaps, but I think that God looked down into that prison room & found a particularly refreshing response to His cry of love from the cross, "I thirst." There was nothing that could keep us from doing all in our power to be closer to God.'"Commentary: This episode explains my inconsolable grief during the interdict against the lay faithful (18 March-17 May 2020), the aftereffects of which still afflict me. These suffering priests in Dachau had nothing except the Eucharist; therefore they had everything. During the interdict, I had everything the world offers—food, drink, entertainment, warmth, comfort—but not the Eucharist; therefore I had nothing.
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)