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Tuesday, August 1, 2000

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St. Alphonsus Liguori

Jeremiah 14:17-22
Psalm 79
Matthew 13:35-43

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whining wheat?

"His disciples came to Him with the request, 'Explain to us the parable of the weeds.' " —Matthew 13:36

Disciples of Jesus have traditionally been upset that they usually have to live surrounded by weeds, that is, by people who neither accept Jesus nor support His disciples. Many of you are unequally yoked in marriage (see Mt 19:6). You cannot even share your faith with your spouse. Many of you live in families brainwashed by secular humanism and not open to family prayer. You may even have to go to church by yourself or force some of the children to go with you. Some of you live in polarized parishes. You want your parish to be an oasis, but it is one of the worst weed patches.

Jesus tells us bluntly that He is not going to pull the weeds until the end of the world (Mt 13:40). So we better stop whining and get on with loving and forgiving the weeds (even our enemies), serving them, and inviting them to give themselves to Jesus and to become wheat. Remember, all the wheat used to be weeds.

When Jesus, the finest Wheat, died on the cross, He was surrounded by weeds, that is, by enemies. He loved us, His enemies, and ruled in the midst of His enemies (Ps 110:2) by dying for them. With and in Jesus, love and die for the weeds.

Prayer:  Father, "spread the table before me in the sight of my foes" (Ps 23:5).

Promise:  "Is it not You alone, O Lord, our God, to Whom we look? You alone have done all these things." —Jer 14:22

Praise:  One of St. Alphonsus' hearers told him: "It is a pleasure to listen to your sermons; you forget yourself and preach Jesus Christ."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000