&  http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com
July 15, 2017
A Path, Rocky Ground, Thorny Ground, or Rich Soil
This parable has three elements: the sower, the seed, and the ground.
The sower is the focus of the parable. In fact, Jesus entitles it “the parable of the sower.”  The outstanding and ever peculiar quality of the sower is that he sows generously and indiscriminately of the kinds of ground. This is not typical behavior of farmers. What does Jesus tell us here about the way God sows the seed of God’s word?
The seed is small, and may appear insignificant . Yet, the genetic code for a plant or a large shrub is all there in that small seed. The seed of God’s word has all the potential “to bear fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Then there is the ground. That’s me!
God sows the seed of God’s word generously. The seed has all that is needed to bear fruit.
What kind of soil my ground is for the seed is up to me.
 &  http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com
 &  http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com
Image source: www.agnusday.org
July 8, 2017
Revelation to the Little Ones
We might be fascinated with superheroes. World affairs are in the hands of the powerful. Yet, the Father reveals to the little ones the greatest wisdom – God’s love for humanity.
Superheroes are in movies. World affairs, at times, do not seem too encouraging. Those with power do not always improve the lives of others.
May we learn the way of Jesus’ “meek and humble” heart and lighten the burden on the shoulders of God’s children.
July 1, 2017
Three Identifications of a Disciple
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus lists three identifications of a disciple
- one who is sent
- a prophet
- a righteous person.
The one who is sent can never be greater than the Sender.
A prophet delivers God’s message, not of one’s own.
And the message should be that of a life striving for righteousness, becoming more and more the image and reflection of the one who sends us.
June 17, 2017
Divine Life – Now and Eternal
In this Liturgical Year A, the Gospel readings on feast days that mark some of the major aspects in the life, ministry, and mystery of Jesus Christ can be taken as opportunities for us to deepen our appreciation of the profound impact of God’s love on us.
One of the Gospel readings for Christmas is the Prologue of John’s Gospel. Here, John proclaims, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son” (1:14).
Then just last Sunday, for the Solemnity of Trinity, we heard, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (3:16).
And today, for the celebration of Corpus Christi, Jesus tells us, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" (6:51).
In the Eucharist, the mystery of the Incarnation – God’s Word made flesh – continues to be a reality for us. The love of God for us is so great that in the Eucharist, Jesus shares his divine life with us. In the Father’s only Son, present to us in the Eucharist, we have, even now, eternal life, the life of God’s children.
June 10, 2017
Jesus Christ - The Presence of the Holy Trinity – the Presence of Love and Peace
There are three verses from today’s Scripture readings that can help us reflect on the mystery of the Holy Trinity in our lives.
First, Moses’ prayer in the First Reading from Exodus. “O Lord, do come along in our company.”
And for God’s people in the forty years in the desert, God indeed came along in their company “in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light.” (Exodus 13:21).
The second verse, found in John’s Gospel. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” God no longer makes God’s presence known to us in a column of cloud or fire. God is now present with us in God’s only Son, who has chosen to become like us in all things but sin. Jesus, God’s only Son, is now one with us.
Thus, the third verse from the Second Reading affirms the presence of the Holy Trinity in our lives, thanks to God’s love for us, “the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Image source: http://www.freepik.com
June 3, 2017
The Breath of God’s Life, the Breath of Forgiveness
“Jesus breathed on them.”
This is the only time this verb “to breathe” is used in the New Testament.
John seems to draw the parallel between this act of the Risen Lord with God’s action in Genesis 2:7. “The LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” 
The Risen Christ, in giving the gift of the Holy Spirit, gives his followers new life, divine life.
And with this divine life comes both the power and the command to forgive.
Forgiving is living the life of God.
May 27, 2017
To Know God
(Today, most dioceses celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. In a few places, however, today is the 7th Sunday of Easter.
I have chosen the Gospel for the 6th Sunday of Easter for this reflection.)
In the Gospel passage, Jesus continues his Last Supper with the disciples. Now he prays to the Father for his disciples, “This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”
“The word for "know" is ginosko, which means intimate, even mystical, knowledge.”  Think of how intimately Jesus knows the Father.
To know God and to make God know – that is one way of expressing the purpose of the Christian life.
As we ponder Jesus’ prayer for us, it’s time for us to evaluate our prayer life, which is a way we can deepen our knowledge of God.
While we can never know God fully, without some knowledge of God, we cannot carry out Jesus’ commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
 John Petty. www.progressiveinvolvement.org