Homily (Reflection) for the Sixteenth Sunday of the Year (A) (23rd July, 2017) on the Gospel
Wis 12:13.16-19;Ps 85:5-6.9-10.15-16 (R.V. 5);
Matt 13:24-43 or Matt 13:24-30.
Topic: Wheat and Weeds.
In today’s gospel, the householder planted good seeds (wheat) in his field but the evil one came and planted the weeds. The evil one achieved his aim when everyone was asleep, cf. Matt 13:25. Hence, Christ warns, “Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come” (Mk 13:33). Saint Paul also admonishes, “… let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1Thess 5:6).
The householder did not allow his slaves to gather the weeds before the time of harvest. Before that time, wheat could easily be mistaken for weed. Both were allowed to bear fruits because judgement will be based on the fruits that each bears, cf. 2Cor 11:15; 1Pt 1:17; Rev 14:13. Again, some of the seeds sown by the householder may end up being fruitless. Jesus admonishes, “Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Lk 3:8). Saint Paul asks us to walk as the children of light that we are, cf. Eph 5:8. Being a child of God without corresponding fruits is useless. Consequently Jesus warns, “...now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt 3:10).
One may ask, ‘Who are the wheat and who are weeds?’ Jesus’ answer, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16, cf. Matt 7:20). For Saint John, there is a clear demarcation between the two, “The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters” (1Jn 3:10). He also wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God” (1Jn 4:7). Again, “Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God” (3Jn 1:11).
It is a privilege to be a child of God, cf. 1Jn 3:1. One can either accept or reject this. However, only to those who received and believed are given the power to become children of God, cf. Jn 1:12.
Jesus warns, “Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you” (Rev 3:3). Again, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them” (Lk 12:37). And again, “…I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed!” (Rev 16:15). It is by being awake and producing the fruits worthy of the call that we can be truly sons and daughters of God and will consequently shine as lights, cf. Phil 2:15.
Bible Reading: Matt 7:15-20; Mk 13:32-37; 1Pt 2:11-17; 1Jn 2:29-3:10.
Thought for today: Are you wheat or weed?
Let us pray: Lord, we have been weeds in thoughts, words, actions, and/or omissions. Help us to be wheat and also to bear desired fruits – Amen.
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