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Sunday, July 20, 2008

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16th Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Romans 8:26-27
Psalm 86
Matthew 13:24-43

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roots and weeds

"Pull up the weeds and you might take the wheat along with them." —Matthew 13:29

A farmer tells his farmhands not to weed his field because they may take up the wheat with the weeds. This is an unusual command. If farmers applied this in all cases, all weeding would be prohibited. This command indicates that the root-development of the wheat, the citizens of God's kingdom (Mt 13:38), is dependent on the presence of the weeds, "the followers of the evil one" (Mt 13:38). To "be rooted in [Christ] and built up in Him, growing ever stronger in faith" (Col 2:7), we must be in the presence of those who are not with the Lord but following the evil one. This gives us opportunities to share and defend our faith. We can forgive these people when they hurt us and love them unconditionally. We can take up our daily crosses (see Lk 9:23) and share in the sufferings of Christ (Col 1:24).

The Lord turns all things to the good for those who love Him (Rm 8:28). Your loving, forgiving, suffering outreach to the weeds root you in Christ in wondrous ways. Thank God for how He can deepen your faith through weeds. Love the weeds, even if they hurt you. Remember you were a weed yourself and would revert to being a weed but for the amazing grace of God. Thank God for not weeding the field until the very end.

Prayer:  Father, may my faith be deep enough to persevere through the mass apostasy before the end of the world (see 2 Thes 2:3).

Promise:  "Though You are Master of might, You judge with clemency." —Wis 12:18

Praise:  Praise the risen Lord, Whose "mercy endures forever"

Reference:  (Ps 136:1).

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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