Reflection for 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time
First Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
But though you are a master of might, you judge with clemency and with much lenience you govern us. We learn from today’s First Reading from the Book of Wisdom that our God, who is infinitely powerful, is also infinitely merciful. Sometimes when we think of power, it is the imposing of one’s ideology upon another. But with God, whose power is in love, does not even impose His love upon us. We must accept it and freely return love. And when we don’t love… God still seeks us out. We think of the Parable of the Lost Sheep that Jesus told.
The Psalm echoes the First Reading. You, O Lord are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you….You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity. The Psalmist reveals to us some of the qualities of our God… kindness, forgiving, merciful, gracious, slow to anger, wondrous, loving etc.
St. Paul in today’s Letter to the Romans tells us that in our weaknesses, the Holy Spirit comes to our aid to help us to pray and the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and minds about the things of God.
Today’s gospel, the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat helps us to see God’s infinite patience for the conversion of our soul and all souls. This parable encourages us to realize that it is God who is in control. We must continue to strive to love even in the midst of evil present in our midst. Jesus Christ has won the victory for us. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
As a vegetable gardener, I can relate to this parable. I see the weeds growing along side the vegetables. Sometimes the weeds grow so close to the vegetable plants, I must let them grow together. At the harvest of my vegetables, I am able to separate the vegetables for eating and throw out the weeds. So it is with the growth of the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is growing by our efforts to love. We may not see the results of our perseverance to love now or even in our lifetime. God sees the bigger picture and we trust that He is always working for our good.
May God bless us all always!