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Sunday, July 19, 2020

A Homily - The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 85(86):5-6, 9-10, 15-16 ©
Second Reading – Romans 8:26-27 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Ephesians 1:17, 18
Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 11:25
The Gospel According to Matthew 13:24 - 43 ©

(NJB)

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Listen to the faith of your forebears and take heart.

There is one God, the creator of the universe, one God the creator of us all, one God who never judges unjustly, one God omnipotent, one God who is lenient to all.

God demonstrates power through mercy, and justice through grace, teaching us to emulate the divine by looking on our sins and bringing us to repent.

This is true for one and all.

Speak truth concerning God’s mercy, God’s compassion and God’s love; these are the paths of divine and God’s light is always shining on them. When we are merciful, compassionate and loving, we honor the will of God, reflecting on all whom we encounter the divine light.

Do not hope for God to interject God’s will on your behalf as you strive with your fellows for any of the things of this world; rather conform your will to the will of God, if you are poor you will still be happy, if you are destitute, you will still have hope, if you have enemies they will no longer bother you and if you are rich you will be a blessing to others.

It is wise and good to anticipate the coming of God, just as it is wise and good to desire God’s presence. Anticipate that moment, relish it, cherish it, while remaining present to the people and events that are actually occurring in your life.

When you are in prayer and your thoughts are unformed, when your feelings are unclear and no words come to your mind, or when the words that do come are inappropriate for prayer, then be silent, quiet your mind, still the murmurs in your heart, let go of the voices; be silent and listen.

Let your prayers be prayers of listening.

Remember the life of Jesus, and God whom he called Father

Is god glorious? God is the creator of the universe. God’s greatest place is in relationship to us; God’s children as a loving parent.

May each and every one of come to the full knowledge of God.

There is hope in the knowledge of God, always remember that the hopes you have for yourself and those you love are to be extended to everyone; even those you do not love, for that is the way God leads us.

If you think that God has promised rich glories to be the inheritance of the saints; remember that the first will be last and the last will be first, and that riches are not counted in gold and silver and precious things.

Be mindful.

The teachings of Jesus cannot be treated like a shell game, though they are often treated by the church as such, and have been since the beginning as Matthew’s Gospel illustrates.

The way of Jesus is not a long can, it is not a bait and switch, it is a simple teaching that cannot be controlled or owned by any one group of people.

Be mindful of this.

God, the creator of the universe, God has hidden nothing. The truth is in the open for anyone to see. The wise and the powerful, the learned and the clever, the weak and the meek, everyone has access to the same truth, to the knowledge of God, of justice, of hope and love.

Who are the wise and powerful, who are the learned and the clever, who are the faithful and childlike? In every generation, you will see a new group rise up, labeling the elder generation as out of touch, blind, privileged, in the dark, corrupt.

It is an endless cycle and the truth remains the same; love justice, be merciful, do good, serve God through the loving service you provide to one another, to your family, your friends, your neighbors, the stranger, even your enemy.

Just because a person may be wise and powerful, learned and clever or a child of the church, does not mean they recognize the truth when they see it, or act upon it when they do.

It is not your station in society, it is not how other people regard you, it is not the titles you have earned\ or the ways that you have been marginalized that give us the tell on how you will fulfill the calling to follow Jesus and keep to the way. What matters is what is in your heart, and your willingness to trust in the content of your hope.

Consider the Gospel reading for today, and bear this in mind:

The Gospels were written long after Jesus died.

Matthews Gospel was compiled by a community of believers between 80 and 100 years after his death.

If you practice mindfulness in your reading you can see two threads in the Gospel:

The teaching of Jesus as remembered by the community, and the community’s interpretation of that teaching, one that they believe promotes their interests.

These threads are often out of synch with other.

Practice discernment and you will be able to see movement from Jesus’ view of the way as understood by the people who first listened to him, to the view of the Church and those who were endeavoring to preserve his teaching. When the gospels report that Jesus is deliberate using mysterious messaging to hide something from the people, passing on secret teachings to his disciples alone, look harder and you will see the Church putting itself in the place of authority rather than the Spirit of Truth..

This is when the Church places its own interests above the teaching of Jesus, and this is where they begin to lead people astray, substituting simple wisdom for fantastical stories about angels, and the evil one and the end of time.

Be mindful of this and reject that messaging, focus instead on the way, which is loving and patient and kind.

Plant the smallest of seeds in the hearts and minds of your listeners and wait, the seed will grow into a mighty tree.

Allow the yeast to leaven the dough, it will leave no part of the bread untouched.

Let the weeds grow until the harvest. The wheat will go to the granary, the weeds will go to the fire, and remember, in the scriptures fire is an image representing our encounter with God, the creator of the universe, God who is just and loving, and good.

Watch them burn in a column of fire, ascending straight to the heavens while lighting our way.


First Reading – Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 ©

You Will Grant Repentance After Sin

There is no god, other than you, who cares for every thing, to whom you might have to prove that you never judged unjustly.

Your justice has its source in strength, your sovereignty over all makes you lenient to all.

You show your strength when your sovereign power is questioned and you expose the insolence of those who know it; but, disposing of such strength, you are mild in judgement, you govern us with great lenience, for you have only to will, and your power is there.

By acting thus you have taught a lesson to your people how the virtuous man must be kindly to his fellow men, and you have given your sons the good hope that after sin you will grant repentance.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 85(86):5-6, 9-10, 15-16 ©

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
  full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
  and attend to the sound of my voice.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

All the nations shall come to adore you
  and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvellous deeds,
  you who alone are God.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

But you, God of mercy and compassion,
  slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth,
  turn and take pity on me.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.


Second Reading – Romans 8:26-27 ©

The Spirit Himself Expresses Our Plea in a Way that Could Never be Put Into Words

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.


Gospel Acclamation – Ephesians 1:17, 18

Alleluia, alleluia!

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Alleluia!

Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 11:25

Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessed are you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom
to mere children.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 13:24-43 ©

Let Them Both Grow Till the Harvest

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’

He put another parable before them: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy:

I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.

Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’




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