July 27, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“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.”’”

Reflection (Sem. Julius de Gracia):

         Have you heard yourself praying to God; “Lord, why is this happening to me? Am I the worst among your children?”, “I have followed your commandments and I was very honest in my dealings, and then this is what I get from you?”, “I am trying to live a good Christian life but instead I am suffering from persecution and ridicule, wherein people who have doesn’t care about you prosper and are successful than me, why Lord?”

          We tend to compare our fortunes and misfortunes with others, that is why we want to shove off those whom we think are bad people. That is our instinct. But in our gospel today we heard Jesus saying, “Let them (weeds and wheat) grow together until the harvest time.” (Mt. 13:30) This is in contradiction to our instinct. Weeds are allusion as the evil doers or seeds, while wheat is alluded to as the good seeds. We want the bad seeds or people out of the world. That is why I am not surprised if you can have your own lists of who are to be weeded out of the world so that Gods harmony is enjoyed.

          But Gods wisdom and plan is far beyond our understanding. Our ways are not His ways, nor is our thinking. Jesus is teaching us to exercise a “cautious tolerance in the face of judgement”, for in the gospel we heard of the disciples of Jesus quickness to decide and intolerable of the weeds. Jesus warns us that even though we know how terrible the sins of our fellowman, we always reserve to God the final judgment at the end of time. All of us will reap what we sow. I am not saying that we tolerate evil and do nothing. But rather I am saying that even a worst criminal there is still hope for a change of heart and conversion toward God.

          That is why the Church is against the death law, why? Because when the grace of God operates nothing is impossible, we are not just for restorative justice, but attached to it is a reformative justice.  Yes, it’s really hard to follow Christ because he is a God of second chances. No sin can match the power of God’s gift of Mercy and Love, for that is the very nature of God. We who experienced the great mercy and love of God, is invited all the more to share this experience with others, in forgiving and loving genuinely our brothers and sisters.

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