16th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 7:1-11
The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD, and there proclaim this message: Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place. Put not your trust in the deceitful words: “This is the temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!” Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land I gave your fathers long ago and forever. But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss! Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not, and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: “We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again”? Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I too see what is being done, says the LORD.
Gospel: 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.”’”
ARE YOU THE WHEAT OR THE WEED? In today’s gospel, the analogy of the wheat and the weed has been used to represent our lives. We shall be judged according to our deeds. If we follow the way of Christ at the harvest time, we shall be gathered into his burn; the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, if we accept Satan to plant bad seeds in us, we shall become the weed. For us to be like wheat, we must do good deeds. The world has many things to lure us away from God and we become the weed. The mercy of God is ever there inviting us to turn to him with a contrite heart. St. Bridget whose memory we celebrate today was very philanthropic to the needy, made pilgrimages to the holy land and fought for justice. Are we ready to turn away from sin that turn us away from God?
Prayer: Lord, let my actions be light to others and help me to inherit eternal life.
**** CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES: A covenant is an agreement between God and people where God makes promises and demands certain conduct from the people. The choice to honor the covenant is the choice to receive the promises and the choice to dishonor is to reject the promises. After Moses read the book of the covenant the Israelites chose to follow it and therefore the covenant was sealed with the blood. In the gospel we see the existence of two crops in one farm that is likened to the Kingdom of God. The good crop planted by the farmer is a covenant with him while the weed is a covenant with the enemy. The farmer is God and the enemy is the devil. Our covenant is with God sealed with the blood of Jesus and our reward is eternal life.