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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Exod 33:7-11; 34:5b-9.28): The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who wished to consult the Lord would go to this meeting tent outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise and stand at the entrance of their own tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and stand at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and worship at the entrance of their own tents. The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. Moses would then return to the camp, but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, would not move out of the tent.

Moses stood there with the Lord and proclaimed his name, “Lord”. Thus the Lord passed before him and cried out, «The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers' wickedness!». Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he said, «If I find favor with you, o Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own». So Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Responsorial Psalm: 102
R/. The Lord is kind and merciful.
The Lord secures justice and the rights of all the oppressed. He has made known his ways to Moses, and his deeds to the children of Israel.

Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever.

Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
Versicle before the Gospel (---): Alleluia. The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 13,36-43): Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

«Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field»

Fr. Iñaki BALLBÉ i Turu (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, through the parable of the weeds and the wheat, the Church urges us to ponder over the coexistence of good and evil. Good and evil within our heart; good and evil we may spot on others, good and evil we can see in the world, all around us.

His disciples ask Jesus: “explain to us the parable” (Mt 13:36). And, today, we can mean to be more careful with our personal prayer, our everyday dealings with God. We can ask him: Lord, tell me why I do not progress enough in my interior life. Tell me how can I be more faithful to you, how can I look for you in my work, or through circumstances I do not understand or I do not want. How can I be a qualified apostle? A prayer is just this, to ask God for “explanations”. How is my prayer? Is it sincere? Is it constant? Is it trusting?

Jesus Christ invites us to keep our eyes focused on Heaven, our eternal home. The speed of life can drive us crazy quite often, but we seldom stop to think that there will come a day —we do not know whether far-off or near— when we shall have to settle our accounts with God and explain which are the fruits borne by the good seeds He has sown on us. And the Lord tells us that at the end of time there will be a selection. So, we must win Heaven here on earth, in our everyday life, without waiting for situations that perhaps will never occur. We have to live heroically our ordinary life, the things that apparently have no transcendence. We must live by thinking of eternity and helping others to think of it, too! Paradoxically, «the man who strives to live must die; whereas the man who does not strive to avoid sin has to live eternally» (St. Julian of Toledo).

We shall reap what we have sown. We have to fight to give today the 100%. So when we are called into God's presence we might be able to go with our hands full: of acts of faith, hope and love, which result in minor things and events that, when lived on an everyday basis, make us better Christians, saints and human.