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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 (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 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)