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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week 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».
Versicle 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 proposed a parable to the crowds. "The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

“Let them grow together”

Fr. Manuel SÁNCHEZ Sánchez (Sevilla, Spain)

Today, we ponder over a parable concerning community life, 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 them up?” (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 grow together until harvest” (Mt 13:30).

An ambiguous and mediocre reality, perhaps, but that is where God's Kingdom grows. We must seek to discover the signs of the Kingdom of God, so we can bring it about, while avoiding whatever accommodates us to a life of mediocrity. However, living in that mixture of good and evil should not hinder nor hamper the advance of our spiritual life; for, otherwise, we would be transforming our wheat into weeds. “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have 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 is to make the Kingdom of God grow in it.

The Gospel invites us to overcome bigotry and hypocrisy in the Christian community. In all groups, 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 are still far from it. Yet, Jesus proves that all of us, without exception, are still on our way.

Let us be on the alert therefore, to prevent the devil from sneaking up on us, which is what normally happens when we accommodate 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 accommodate only to love.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • «When evil has gangrened the crowd, there is no other choice but to grieve and moan. Correct with love when you can. And when it cannot be corrected, suffer patiently until the correction comes from above» (Saint Augustine)

  • «Jesus teaches us to see things with Christian realism and to face each problem with clear principles, but also with prudence and patience. This supposes a transcendent vision of history, in which it is known that everything belongs to God» (Saint John Paul II)

  • "On Judgement Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 681)