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To all Catholic Members: Here is today's Sunday Mass Reflection and Readings

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

 1st Reading: Wis 12:13, 16-19;

Psalm 86: 5-6, 9-10, 15-16a (R.v.5a); 

2nd Reading: Rom 8: 26-27; 

Gospel: Matt 13: 24-43

Below is the response to the psalm;

 R/. "The Lord is good and forgives" (Psalm 86: 5)

 The patience and tolerance of God is evident in the parables in today's gospel. In the first parable about good seeds and weeds, we see the image of the always tolerant God in the man who sowed good seeds in his field and chose to let the weeds grow next to the seeds instead of the suggestions from giving in to his servant is to have the weeds removed immediately (Mt 13,27-30).

 The first reading from the Book of Wisdom lets us understand that this is not a sign of God's weakness, but a sign of God's forbearance. The presence of good seed and weed in the same field represents the existence of saints and sinners in the church. God is not ready to eliminate sinners, but wants to give them enough space to repent.

 Note that this parable is also an answer to those, especially the Pharisees, who are scandalized and uncomfortable with the presence of sinners among Jesus' followers. (see Matthew 9:11; Mark 2: 15-17).

 In a broader sense, we are equally warned against judging others, but pray that they will repent and return to God. So there are two points to be seriously considered from this parable: first, it shows us the indulgence of God, which gives the sinner room to repent, and second, it calls us to imitate God by being lenient towards others.

 The next two parables - mustard seed and sourdough - also clearly express these two points. However, they seem to pay more attention to the second point. They serve to encourage and reassure sinners that they can grow from their low state to emblems of imitation.

 They also represent the Church in its growth challenges, but now it is expected to provide protection and nourishment to others, just like the mustard tree that provides protection and the leaven that provides nourishment.

 We cannot do all of this on our own, so St. Paul tells us at second reading to accept the Spirit of God, which would intervene for us and help us in our weakness.

 May God help us to adapt to others; helping each other to grow into the perfection that is required of us. And let's not stagnate and deserve to be thrown into the fire of destruction on the last day. Amen.

 I wish you a fruitful Sunday. Peace be with you.

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Catholic Matt


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