16th Week in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 12:13, 16–19 God gives repentance for our sins.
Psalm 86 “Lord, you are good and forgiving.”
Romans 8:26–27 The Spirit intercedes for us.
Matthew 13:24–43 Let the seeds grow together until harvest.
It is a great pleasure in the middle of these slow summer months to sit back and listen to stories. The crowds in the Gospel were able to do just that, for Jesus taught them by telling parables. Parables made his lessons about the kingdom of heaven memorable, in ways in which straightforward narration would fail. Now it is our turn to listen. Let us listen to them, reflecting on their rich images and considering their meaning in our lives.
It is not likely that a farmer or gardener would follow the householder’s example in the Gospel. Left unchecked, weeds will compete with plants for water, sunlight, and nutrients. At best, the good plants will not bear as much fruit. At worst, they will wither and die. Good farmers keep their land as free of weeds as possible. Yes, pulling up weeds that are mixed in with plants may damage the crop, but allowing them to grow together just gives them more opportunity to damage the crop. However, as Jesus reveals to his disciples, parables are not meant to be taken literally. God, the wise and merciful judge, is patient with the weeds, allowing them to grow to completion. Growth implies change. Change effected by the Spirit, who comes to the aid of human weakness, is transformative. Throughout the human growing season—our lifetimes—there remains hope for even the most wicked of weeds.
Look at me!!
How does God’s patience with the weeds change the way you act toward others? To whom do you need to show mercy this week?