Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 19, 2020

Reflection


A person who understands the plight of another is not quick to judge. The role of understanding is important in accepting the context of people and situation. Where is this coming from? Why do they do the things they do?


God is presented in our readings today as one who fully understands mankind’s plight. He understands that while man is capable of wickedness, is himself also a victim. God’s mercy reaches out abundantly to those who suffer and hurt. He is good and forgiving.


Human weakness is taken advantage of time and time again by the enemy. This brokenness and sinfulness is the source of all sadness and pain. Original sin is poetically referred to by St. Paul when writing “we do not know how to pray as we ought”. Despite being made for God and is always yearning for God, a great divide separates the human heart from its maker.


God’s mercy however undoes all this evil. He does not only take away sin and stop it from corrupting humanity. He continues his work of forming man into his image, teaching him, rebuking him, and above all giving him time. He gives man his own Spirit to act both as fire and water – fire to burn away all impurities and water to quench a deeper human thirst in the human heart.


God plants his Word and Spirit in all human hearts. While others allow evil to stifle the growth of the seed, most will bear fruit. It is through the human heart that the Kingdom grows. Our hearts are the fields and God is our sower. Weak though we are, the seed only needs a receptive soil and a willing heart to be cultivated. There is mercy and patience in God.


First Reading

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

There is no god besides you who have the care of all,

that you need show you have not unjustly condemned.

For your might is the source of justice;

your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.

For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved;

and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity.

But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency,

and with much lenience you govern us;

for power, whenever you will, attends you.

And you taught your people, by these deeds,

that those who are just must be kind;

and you gave your children good ground for hope

that you would permit repentance for their sins.


Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

R. (5a) Lord, you are good and forgiving.

You, O LORD, are good and forgiving,

abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.

Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer

and attend to the sound of my pleading.

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.

All the nations you have made shall come

and worship you, O LORD,

and glorify your name.

For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;

you alone are God.

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.

You, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.

Turn toward me, and have pity on me;

give your strength to your servant.

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.

Second Reading

Romans 8:26-27

Brothers and sisters:

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;

for we do not know how to pray as we ought,

but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.

And the one who searches hearts

knows what is the intention of the Spirit,

because he intercedes for the holy ones

according to God’s will.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:24-30.


Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:

“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.”’”



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