Homily Sixteenth Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, July 23, 2017
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Wisdom 12:13. 16-19
Psalm: Ps 85:5-6. 9-10. 15-16. “Lord, you are good and forgiving.”
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Sixteenth Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, July 23, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-16th-sunday-ordinary-a-2017
A Quality that describes God in the readings this weekend is : “Forbearance” - “patience, long-suffering, sufferance, tolerance, or the act of refraining from enforcing a debt, obligation or right.”
[“’gospel’ values included in the readings:”
mercy, kindness, forbearance, wholeness, consistency, slowness to anger, allowing time to change and to grow, hope- (because of allowing for repenatance and forgiveness), graciousness, steadfastness in love, faithfulness, being a person of encouragement, The Spirit prays in us, God forebears to leave freedom of will and wrongdoing – God plays the “long game,” so as to gain as many people as possible - the presence and action of the Kingdom is not grand and overwhelming but subtle and down-to earth…..modest eg -shrub, leaven in the dough… ]
The first reading, the psalm and the gospel all tell us something very important…. “God is all-powerful, but is gentle and always wants to give us time for change, for transformation, and for repentance.” (Abbot’s homily, Monastery of Christ in the desert).
I love the lines in the first reading… They are so beautiful… it gives us a deep insight into God’s nature and God’s message: Lord… Although your strength is sovereign.. you judge us in mildness, you govern us with forebearance… and by these you teach us to be KIND… and have hope, because you allow us to repent of our sins……. (paraphrased)
The gospel this weekend, uses, among other examples, the image of the kingdom of God being like ‘the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’ Surely our mission as Christians is very fittingly described as that. We each seek to implement the good news of Jesus in an “holistic” way… in a way that is not segmented…. // We desire that our discipleship distributes and combines ‘right through every aspect of our lives’ ………so that the gospel is part of every aspect.. and not merely something that has been “tacked-on” to the end of an otherwise “non-Christian set-up”… but rather… it is “worked-in” and becomes an integral part of who we are and what we do. … just like yeast is mixed seamlessly into flour….. It becomes part of it, and then raises it up into a new and more beautiful creation…. All of us are like that too in our daily lives…… // Daily, we get glimpses of the kingdom at work in our everyday lives…// The Spirit is working into and amongst the everyday events and values of the our days………
We are all, as Christians, to be “leaven in the dough”…// We are called to be ‘So much part of society’ as to be integral… and all-the-while bringing the life, joy and compassion of the Gospel effortlessly into all we do and say… (and often not even in a very ‘obvious’ way, but perfectly naturally)…… being part of God’s transformation of all things into God’s image….
Finally, Jesus tackles the age old question… why are there bad things in the world? …. Why does God allow seemingly bad people to do bad things?…. Why does God allow the ‘destructive’ to thrive alongside of the ‘constructive’?…….. I suppose we can all be glad that God doesn’t dispose of anyone or anything that is imperfect… or “hit with a bolt of lightning” anyone who has ever sinned or made a mistake or who was weak and not entirely living up to the Gospel message……. I for one am very glad that God is patient.. ….That God gives us time to be fully transformed by the gospel…….. I am sure we have all benefited from that most reassuring of Divine qualities… “forebearance and mercy.”
Contradictions exist not only around us… but also in our own individual lives too. – We too live with the “wheat and the weeds” within our own heart. ……For all our good intentions and efforts, we will probably continue to struggle with some issues, some contradictions all our lives. The garden of our soul will always need a little weeding. These inner struggles will continue to call us to conversion and we will continue to need to call on the Lord and allow God to be the gardener of our souls. Knowing the weeds and wheat within our own individual lives, can help us be a little more patient, and compassionate of the weeds and wheat around us – in our families, communities, our Church. This is not an invitation to complacency but a reminder for us to ‘stay real’ and see the bigger picture.***
God has unconditional love for us…. God made us, ///and Lord sees into our hearts…..and sees the enormous potential and possibilities that lie within us….. God sees us as we truly are… and still loves us…… giving us time and grace…in order that we might foster the virtues and positive attributes of ourselves … and allow God to transform and heal those areas that are in need of forgiveness, transformation and conversion…..
God appears to err on the side of human freedom so that we may be fully free to respond with love to all that God wants for us…….. (this is both an enormous gift and a powerful challenge and responsibility).
One thing is certain…. without denying the reality of suffering, injustice and downright evil within the world….. nevertheless… we are invited not to be thrown by all this, and to focus more than ever in doing good, in being people of kindness, mercy, justice and compassion….. let us not allow the hurts and sins of the world stop us from deepening our constant calling to do good, to love more deeply. When the weeds around us might otherwise prompt us to respond with negativity and bitterness…. where sin and hurt abounds.. let us ensure that the grace, kindness and forbearing love of Christ all the more abound…. in all that we do and say…
FR. PAUL W. KELLY
***Mary Coloe. LiturgyHelp.com
MONASTERY OF CHRIST IN THE DESERT. ABBOT’S HOMILY.
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Sixteenth Sunday of the Year A
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another: Lord, have mercy//You heal the wounds of our sin and division: Christ, have mercy// You intercede for us with the Father: Lord, have mercy//
Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
Preface VI of Sundays of Ordinary time
Euch Prayer II
Go in peace.
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