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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 (Jer 14:17-22): Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest, over the great destruction which overwhelms the virgin daughter of my people, over her incurable wound. If I walk out into the field, look! those slain by the sword; if I enter the city, look! those consumed by hunger. Even the prophet and the priest forage in a land they know not. Have you cast Judah off completely? Is Zion loathsome to you? Why have you struck us a blow that cannot be healed? We wait for peace, to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead. We recognize, o Lord, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you. For your name's sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not. Among the nations' idols is there any that gives rain? Or can the mere heavens send showers? Is it not you alone, o Lord, our God, to whom we look? You alone have done all these things.
Responsorial Psalm: 78
R/. For the glory of your name, o Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low.

Help us, o God our savior, because of the glory of your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for your name's sake.

Let the prisoners' sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death.

Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise.
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 we can resolve to be more careful with our personal prayer, our everyday dealings with God, starting today. 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 in 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 the ordinary heroically… 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, better saints and more humane.