July 23, 2017 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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The daily readings always seem to speak to each of us, right where we are in life. Right when we need them. Right as He intends for them to be received. These are no different, for me.

We often allow our stumbles and failures to define our self image and worth. Many times we do something that we know is wrong, against the wishes of our families, friends and most importantly, God. We know we shouldn’t but, we do them any way. When this happens, I encourage each of you to do this: Do not allow your past stumbles to determine your future successes. Do not be defined by them, define your future by overcoming them, through Christ. Seek His forgiveness and become renewed, often.

The first reading from the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary time comes from the Book of Wisdom 12:13, 16-19. As I read this, it hit me squarely in the face: God does not desire to condemn us! He desires to forgive us. God’s might and power is the source of all justice and His mastery provides leniency to each of us who seek His forgiveness. When we doubt God, He always provides us with a miracle to display His love and power. When we or others disbelieve in the power of God’s love and mercy, he never fails to show us a sign or provide a message or unleash His power. The problem is; we so often fail to see it.

This leads us to the second reading from Romans 8:26-27. In this reading, our failures to see His power or see his face addressed. We see that the Spirit comes for each of us in our weaknesses and the Spirit intercedes and uplifts our hearts and eases our burdens. We see that it is God’s desire to uplift the Holy ones and that He knows each of us. The key is us though. We have to desire to be Holy and righteous, thus seeking a relationship with Christ. We know the bible relays to us that God knows we are not perfect but, it does not say we should not strive for perfection! Brothers and Sisters, this reading like so many others continue to reveal the unconditional love, forgiveness and support our Father has for each of us. His desire is not for our struggles, failures or worries to define us, they are to uplift and strengthen us through His hand of forgiveness.

The Gospel from Matthew 13:24-43 continues showing us that the love of our Father and His compassionate heart is what truly defines us. This gospel reading speaks to us about a farmer (each of us) planting good seed into the soil (doing good deeds in our lives). An enemy (the Devil) comes into the lush field we have worked so hard planting and sows weeds throughout it. The Devil is working so hard to destroy our fields, everyday. We allow the seeds the Devil plants to not only root but, grow within our fields (our hearts) if we do not tend to them like good farmers (Disciples). We must do this by watering (learning and living our faith) and building fences around them (surrounding ourselves with goodness and good people) to keep Satan away. We must also seek Christ’s forgiveness and support through Reconciliation. Through this, we are renewed and our fields are weeded for us by His hand.

Like the reading offers, the harvest of our lives will be gathered at the time of God’s presence before each of us. It is then that He and His angels will gather the wheat from our fields to truly see how much good wheat has come from our efforts. At that time, Christ will look to see if the weeds have been allowed to grow and overtake our fields or if the good grain has exceeded them by our efforts of gardening through faith.

Harvest your fields. Plant good grain into the soil, water it and surround it to protect it. Feed yourselves and others with good works and deeds and the harvest will be plentiful.

Blessings my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

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