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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 (Jer 7:1-11): The following message came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand at the gate of the house of the Lord, and there proclaim this message: Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place. Put not your trust in the deceitful words: «This is the temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord!».

Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land I gave your fathers long ago and forever. But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss! Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not, and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: «We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again?». Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I too see what is being done, says the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: 83
R/. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young: your altars, o Lord of hosts, my king and my God!

Blessed they who dwell in your house!; continually they praise you. Blessed the men whose strength you are! They go from strength to strength.

I had rather one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
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 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.