16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 3 / (Green)
Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Lord, you are good and forgiving.
1st Reading: Wis 12:13, 16-19
For there is no other god besides you, one who cares for everyone, who could ask you to justify your judgments;
Your strength is the source of your justice and because you are the Lord of all, you can be merciful to everyone.
To those who doubt your sovereign power you show your strength and you confound the insolence of those who ignore it. But you, the Lord of strength, judge with prudence and govern us with great patience, because you are able to do anything at the time you want.
In this way you have taught your people that a righteous person must love his human fellows; you have also given your people cause for hope by prompting them to repent of their sin.
2nd Reading: Rom 8:26-27
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us, without words, as if with groans. And he, who sees inner secrets, knows the desires of the Spirit, for he asks for the holy ones, what is pleasing to God.
Gospel: Mt 13:24-43 (or Mt 13:24-30)
Jesus told the people 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 went away.
When the plants sprouted and produced grain, the weeds also appeared. Then, the servants of the owner came, and said to him, ‘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 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.’”
Jesus offered them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
It is smaller than all other seeds, but once it is fully grown, it is bigger than any garden plant; like a tree, the birds come and rest in its branches.”
He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast that a woman took, and hid in three measures of flour, until the whole mass of dough began to rise.”
Jesus taught all these things to the crowds by means of parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. This fulfilled what was spoken by the Prophet: I will speak in parables. I will proclaim things kept secret since the beginning of the world.
Then he sent the crowds away and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the people of the kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one. The enemy who sows the weeds is the devil; the harvest is the end of time, and the workers are the angels.
Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the just will shine, like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear.
Read: Our God is a god of mercy, strength, justice, prudence, and patience. In our moments of wordless grief, the Spirit of God within us intercedes for us. Jesus captures the various perfections of God through the parables of the Kingdom.
Reflect: We are often embarrassed and distraught by the evil we find within ourselves. The good and the bad seem to coexist within us and we despair. We then try to hide the bad, deny it, or try violently to annihilate it. Perhaps we need to be compassionate to ourselves: let us accept ourselves with the good and the bad within us. It will help us open ourselves without reservation or shame before God whose grace will work like yeast and transform us in the fullness of time. It will also help us be compassionate and less judgmental towards others.
Pray: Sit before God and let the Spirit within you intercede for you.
Act: Take a leisurely walk. Be at peace. Refuse to worry. God is in charge.
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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