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Sunday Readings for July 29 & 30

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What is your new life in Christ worth to you?

Do you love His words more than gold and silver, as we sing in today’s Psalm? Would you, like the characters in the Gospel this week, sell all that you have in order to possess the kingdom He promises to us?

If God were to grant any wish, would you follow Solomon’s example in the First Reading—asking not for a long life or riches, but for wisdom to know God’s ways and to desire His will?

The background for this Sunday’s Gospel, as it has been for the past several weeks, is the rejection of 

Jesus’ preaching by Israel. The kingdom of heaven has come into their midst, yet many cannot see that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises, a gift of divine compassion given that they—and we, too,—might live.

We too must ever discover the kingdom anew, to find it as a treasure—a pearl of great price. By comparison with the kingdom, we must count all else as rubbish (see Philippians 3:8).

And we must be willing to give up all that we have—all our priorities and plans—in order to gain it.

Jesus’ Gospel discloses what Paul, in this week’s Epistle, calls the purpose of God’s plan (see Ephesians 1:4). That purpose is that Jesus be the firstborn of many brothers.

His words give understanding to the simple, the childlike. As Solomon does in this week’s reading, we must humble ourselves before God, giving ourselves to His service. Let our prayer be for an understanding heart, one that desires only to do His will.

We are called to love God, to delight in His law, and to forsake every false way. And we are to conform ourselves daily ever more closely to the image of His Son.

If we do this, we can approach His altar as a pleasing sacrifice, confident that all things work for the good—that we whom He has justified, will also one day be glorified.

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