Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Introduction 

Just as power is used for good or harm, not all seeds are created equal. Jesus tells a story of good seed and bad, and how they grow together in the harvest of the world. We experience this reality in the contents of our own hearts. We have wonderful, generous impulses; and also cruel, petty thoughts. We may be heroic in our love one day, and selfish the next. We forgive and withhold forgiveness. Our fields are waist-high in grain and thistles.

No wonder that good and bad grow together in families; parishes and schools are a mixture of charity and snobbery; politics is full of high-minded ideals and crude scandal. If we’re surprised when nice people do things that are not nice, we have to look no further than this parable for the reason. Reasons are not excuses, of course. Jesus says even a tiny seed of good can create immense goodness. A bit of yeast makes the whole dough rise. The existence of evil is no reason to view it as inevitable. If I find within myself both good and evil, I have a responsibility to grow the grain and invite the Spirit to uproot the thistle in me.

Make a list of some ‘grain’ and ‘thistle’ growing in your heart. How do you cultivate one and defeat the other?

Try ‘preventative’ and ‘punitive’ justice. Give people a break: forgive and show mercy before it’s deserved. Be kind when kindness it’s returned. Try patience instead of irritation. Plant a good seed in every encounter.

The Scripture (Matthew 13: 23) The Parable of the Sower

Jesus continued, ‘The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond their wildest dreams’.

The Reflection

Jesus takes us into the garden for a second week as we look at the simple parables that teach us about how faith grows. Jesus realizes that explaining the world of the soul is a lot easier with a few simple stories. This method of teaching faith is exactly what Jesus wants us to do as we pass on the faith to others.

While the catechism is a great reference tool there isn’t one parable in it. We need to take the facts in the catechism and look for everyday examples that can bring our tradition and teaching to life. Jesus shared stories about vineyards, sheep and boats on the sea because his listeners knew those things very well.

We need to look around us and make up a few modern parables: the parable of the young guy left out of the footy team, the parable of the little girl who wasn’t invited to the birthday party, the parable of the year we couldn’t afford a vacation.

Jesus was a great storyteller and his Spirit remains to inspire us to tell a tale or too. There are no limits to the possibilities as we let the Holy Spirit and our imagination keep writing parables for the children of our time.

The Commissioning

Take your responsibility as members of Christ’s Church to heart!
We will study God’s Word diligently and grow in faith steadily.
We will serve our fellow sisters and brothers justly and carefully.
We will participate in the faith community enthusiastically; and we will rejoice in what we share, as those marked by the Cross of Jesus.

GPBS © (2023)

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