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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Saturday 16th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Exod 24:3-8): When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the Lord, they all answered with one voice, «We will do everything that the Lord has told us». Moses then wrote down all the words of the Lord and, rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then, having sent certain young men of the children of Israel to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord, Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, «All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do». Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, «This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of his».
Responsorial Psalm: 49
R/. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the Lord has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.

«Gather my faithful ones before me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice». And the heavens proclaim his justice; for God himself is the judge.

«Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High; then call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me».
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jas 1:21): Alleluia. Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 13,24-30): Jesus told his disciples another parable, «The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, the weeds also appeared. Then the servants of the owner came to him and said: ‘Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’. He answered them: ‘This is the work of an enemy’. They asked him: ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’. He told them: ‘No, when you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let them just grow together until harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the workers: Pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them; then gather the wheat into my barn’».

«Let them just grow together»

Fr. Manuel SÁNCHEZ Sánchez
(Sevilla, Spain)

Today, we shall ponder over a parable referring to community living, where good and evil, Gospel and sin, constantly get mixed up. Settling this situation as the servant suggests would seem the logical approach: «Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’» (Mt 13:28). But God's patience is infinite, and He waits until the very last moment —as a good father would— for the possibility of a change: «Let them just grow together until harvest» (Mt 13:30).

An ambiguous and mediocre reality, perhaps, but that is where God's Kingdom grows. It has to do with the feeling of being called to discover the signals of the Kingdom of God so we can boost it, while we are trying to avoid whatever conforms us into mediocrity. However, living in that mixture of good and evil should not hinder nor hamper the advance of our spiritual life; for, otherwise, we should be transforming our wheat into weeds. «Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?» (Mt 13:27). It is not possible to grow in any other way, nor can we look for the Kingdom anywhere else than simply in this society we are given to live in. Our task will be to make the Kingdom of God grow in it.

The Gospel invites us not to grant any credit to the “pure”, to overcome the existing aspects of puritanism and bigotry of the Christian community. In all collectivities, no matter how healthy they are meant to be, it is easy to find this kind of attitude. Leaning on ideals, we all feel tempted to think we are the lucky ones that have already achieved perfection, while the rest is still far from it. Yet, Jesus proves that all of us, without exception, are still on our way.

Let us, therefore, be on the alert to prevent the devil to sneak up on us, which is what normally happens when we conform ourselves too much to this world. St. Angela of the Cross said, «we are not to listen to the voices of the world saying there are who do this or that; we stick to our own way, without inventing any variations, and always following our way of doing those things, which are like hidden treasures; for they will open the gates of Heaven for us». Let the Mother of God help us conforming only to love.