✍️Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 106 Reading 1 Wis 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 Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
R. (5a) Lord, you are good and forgiving.You, O LORD, are good and forgiving,bounding 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.
Reading 2 Rom 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.
Alleluia Cf. Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 13:24-43 or 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.”’”He proposed another parable to them.
✍️“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.It is the smallest of all the seeds,yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
✍️It becomes a large bush,and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”He spoke to them another parable.“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”
✍️All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.He spoke to them only in parables,to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:I will open my mouth in parables,I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
✍️Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.His disciples approached him and said,“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
✍️The weeds are the children of the evil one,and the enemy who sows them is the devil.The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,so will it be at the end of the age.
✍️The Son of Man will send his angels,and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.They will throw them into the fiery furnace,where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
✍️In today's reading from the book of Wisdom, we hear that "Those who are just must be kind (Wis. 12:19)." For me, this is the opposite of the message of today's dominant world cultures. And if I examine world history, it seems that kindness often takes a back seat to aggression, selfishness, and an endless hunger for more control.
✍️There are notable exceptions whose actions have changed the course of world history. They stand out because their stories inspire us by offering us a glimpse of what is possible when we choose to be kind. When I pause and look around, I see many people that act justly and practice kindness.
✍️Sometimes the kindest among us have not necessarily experienced the kindness of others. Instead, they have experienced times of great difficulties and many challenges. For example, the veterans of the Vietnam War. Many of them still struggle to cope with life because of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. Individuals dealing with PTSD often have difficulty integrating into society. Sometimes they find themselves living somewhere at the margins.
✍️Many veterans have chosen to cope with their struggles by performing acts of kindness. These are the men and women their friends call for a ride to a doctor's appointment or a trip to the grocery store. If someone needed to talk, they stop and listen. They make room in their lives for the "strays," the homeless person, or the abandoned kitten or puppy. For them, there is always room for one more. Need help fixing the lawnmower, cleaning the kitchen, or with the car that refuses to start? They step up, never asking for payment, or expecting kindness in return. They give generously and lovingly of their time and talent.
✍️These veterans, acting with compassion and empathy, are the "unsung American heroes" that we will never read about in history books. To their communities, these men and women exemplify the book of Wisdom's definition of a just person. They respond to others with kindness. "Then, the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." Matt 13:43
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