July 23, 2017

16th Sun., Ordinary Time

July 23, 2017:  Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

How many connections with today can you find?
Legend below

For 2nd reading
For Psalm 86
    • Mighty Lord/ Foley (needs free Spotify account; otherwise, here's an excerpt) [needs banjo] (psalm)
For the gospel (and psalm)

For next Sunday:  Psalm 119: Lord, I love your commands/ Celoni:  sheet music

Pope Francis Angelus
Today's parable of the wheat and weeds illustrates the problem of evil in the world and emphasizes the Lord’s patience.  God sows good seed while Satan sows weeds.  The servants want to pull the weeds, but the master objects saying the wheat might also be uprooted; he tells them to let them grow together till harvest.  Jesus is telling us that good and evil are so intertwined that you can't separate them and extinguish all evil.  Only God can, and will at the Last Judgment.
We're called to discern between good and evil.  Combine choice and patience:  choose to be good wheat distancing yourself from the seduction of evil, and patiently be part of a Church that dirties its hands by being close to its soiled children, rather than a self-righteous Church that judges them.  We're all sinners.  The line between good and evil runs through each of our hearts.  Jesus freed us from the slavery of sin, gave us grace to walk a new life, and gave us the sacrament of Reconciliation because we always need forgiveness.  Don't just see the bad and the evil; see the good and the beautiful that surrounds us.  Trust in God’s promise of salvation.
  • Wis 12:13, 16-19  You care for all.  Your might is the source of justice, making you lenient to all.  You taught us that the just must be kind; and you gave us good ground for hope that you would permit repentance.
  • Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16  "Lord, you are good and forgiving," kind to all who call you.  All shall worship and glorify you.  Turn to me, have pity, and give me strength.
  • Rom 8:26-27  The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we don't know how to pray, but the Spirit intercedes for us according to God's will.
    Mustard plant (animate)
  • Mt 13:24-43  “The kingdom is like one who sowed good seed, but his enemy sowed weeds.  When the crop grew, the weeds appeared too.  He told his servants, ‘Let them grow, then at harvest I'll have the weeds collected for burning, then gather the wheat.’”  “The kingdom is like a mustard seed, the smallest of seeds but the largest of plants.”  “The kingdom is like yeast mixed with flour till the batch was leavened.”  Disciples / Jesus:  “Explain to us the parable of the weeds.” / “The sower of good seed is the Son,  the good seed the children of the kingdom, the weeds the children of evil, the enemy the devil, the harvest the end of the age, and the harvesters angels.  As weeds are collected and burned, so will the Son send angels to collect evildoers and throw them into the furnace.  Then the righteous will shine.”
  • Creighton:  God's mercy allows for weeds and wheat to co-exist.  God’s power, unlike the enemy's, is kind.  The power from the weeds leads many into sin.  Sin damages our relationships, but God gives us the opportunity to repent.  While wheat and weeds co-exist, truth and holiness will be tangled up with sin and injustice.  "You, Lord, are merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness and fidelity."
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Holy Spirit, prayer leader":  Pray always; don't lose heart.  "Never cease praying."  Jesus prayed early and late; may we his disciples be in the spirit of prayer during all our activities.  Jesus invites us to watch and pray at least one hour with him.  Prayer is a privilege and a necessity.  Though it can be a struggle, the Spirit "helps us in our weakness [and] makes intercession for us."  The Spirit calls us to pray with others, pray in tongues, and fast and pray.  The Spirit prays for you and leads you in prayer.  "Follow the Spirit's lead."
    Tares among the wheat parable (gospel)
  • Passionist:  In explaining the "weeds and wheat" parable, Jesus tells his disciples the good seeds are the “children of the kingdom” while the weeds are the “children of the evil one.”  This parable also shows God's mercy.  God will to wait, and not rush to condemn, and so we're not doomed to remain weeds.  Jesus uses the image of a woman mixing yeast with flour till the batch is leavened.  If we seek to be “children of the kingdom,” we must let God in to do what he wants in us; we're to grow as wheat and be used as flour.  As the woman works the yeast into the flour so it can be made into bread, God works in us so that we can be made into disciples and people are fed.  It may take many of us together to answer people's needs and build up the kingdom.  Perhaps the “leaven” God uses to enable us to be bread for others is the Holy Spirit.  May we not rush to judgment but instead let God’s mercy in.  May we let God work in us so that people may find God's love in us.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Sowing good seeds / sowing weeds":  Weeds can spoil a good harvest, but uprooting them early can destroy good plants.  As nature teaches patience, so God teaches us to guard his lifegiving word and beware evil that can destroy it. / As the mustard seed grew into a tree, God's kingdom starts from hearts receptive to God's word, then transforms from within.  As leaven transforms dough into bread when heated, God transforms those who receive life from Christ.  When we yield, our lives are transformed by the power of the Spirit in us.  Good and evil are sown in our hearts like seeds which eventually yield a harvest of good or bad fruit.  "Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny." (Reade?)  We'll reap what we sow.
    • Philip Evans (“I die for God and religion’s sake; and I think myself so happy that if I had many lives I would willingly give them all for so great a cause”) and John Lloyd, priests, martyrs
Dress legend
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  You're kind to all who 'call' upon you. (psalm)
  • '?' tie pin:  We don't know how to pray as we ought (2nd reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness, interceding according to God’s will (2nd reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  The one who searches hearts knows the Spirit's intention (2nd reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Parable of weeds among the wheat (gospel)
  • 'Fruit':  When the crop bore fruit, weeds appeared with the wheat (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "The weeds are collected and burned up with fire" (gospel)
  • 'Birds' tie:  Birds dwell in branches of the mustard seed turned bush (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  The harvesters are angels (gospel)
  • 'Sun' pin:  The righteous will shine like the sun (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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