16th Sunday in OT A

Kingdom of God for Those Who Have Patience & Humility

Joke: Temptation to dominate: A long line of men stood at one of Heaven's gates, waiting to be admitted. There was a sign over the gate which read, "For men who were dominated by their wives while on earth." The line extended as far as the eye could see. At another of Heaven's gates, only one man was standing. Over this gate there was a sign that read, "For men who were not dominated by their wives." Saint Peter approached the lone man standing there and asked, "What are you doing here?" The man replied, "I don't really know. My wife told me to stand here."

In all today’s readings, especially in today’s Gospel which describes the kingdom of God in some parables help us to focus our attention on the knowledge of oneself and the knowledge of God. Saint Augustine tried to understand God by trying to know himself saying, “That I may know God, and that I may know myself.” In knowing God, one needs to seek to know oneself first. The question is: How does one know oneself?

Matthew skillfully depicts the slaves of a household who came and conversed with their Master saying, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?” Slaves are the ones who receive the order from their master without question nor complaint. In receiving the order, they ought to listen, not question nor complaint. How do they listen to their master? With their two ears alone or rather with their ears receive the order and allow that order to travel to their mind and to their heart. Remember, today’s Gospel is the continuation of the Gospel of last week talking about the seed that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, and among the thorn are those people who closed their ears to receive the Word of God; who didn’t allow the Word of God to touch their hearts and take root in their heart because of the worldly worries and anxieties; and in today’s Gospel, the slaves listen with their ears, but they didn’t allow the Word to touch their heart that’s why they forgot that they were slaves and made themselves equal to their master in conversing with him. Not only that, they blame and perhaps made fun of their master when they say, “Did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?” Rather they should ask themselves, what have they done in taking care of their master’s field that they somehow neglected, and his enemy sneaked into the field to sow weed in his field?

Brothers and sisters, this story does not just happen in the parable, nor Jesus just makes up this story, but it does happen even now in our life. For couples, when you struggle in your marriage, don’t you often point your finger toward 1 another w/o examining yourselves, knowing yourselves? Parents, when your teenagers run away, do some drug, or get themselves into trouble, don’t you often point your finger toward them and said, “You better stop playing games too much. You better get your GPA up or no more night out. You better do this, do that to have this or to have that; but you might not have time to stop to think of yourselves, yourselves and not anybody else, have you had time for your spouse, for your children? Or you allow the business of life occupies your lives that you might not have time neither energy for your loved ones.

In all the struggles of life, learn the words of Saint Paul in today’s second reading when he instructs the Roman community saying, “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groaning.” Just as the slaves came and asked their master to pull out the weed from the field, we do not know how to pray or how to ask God. The Spirit of the Lord does not follow or accept the intentions we have in our mind, but the Spirit intercedes for the intentions that draw from the heart since they are drawn from God’s will when Paul says, “The one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.”

Just as in the parable of the weeds among the wheat, Jesus teaches us to have patience and humility, how can we live with patience and humility with our loved ones, especially in time of difficulties and challenges? Just as the Lord allowed the weeds to grow with the wheat, the bad with the good, the non-Christians among the Christians, have we had courage and strength to be a living witness of Christ to have patience with those who hate us, harm us, talk bad about us; to acknowledge our need for God with humility and to allow God to touch us, to journey with us in difficult and challenged time? Just as there are bad people and good people in this world, there also exists two inclinations in our human nature: one has tendency to follow what is good, and other has tendency to follow what is bad, which tendency do we follow when we profess ourselves as Christians, the followers of Jesus Christ? To pull the weeds among the wheat is in the power of the Master, have we humbly acknowledged and thanked God to allow us to have time to get rid of the weeds, the sons of the devil, the sins sowing in our heart, and try to allow the Word of God, the Spirit of God comes to help us to be more like Christ? The Church herself is Holy with Jesus is the Head. There are many parts in the Body of Christ, the Church, each one of us takes a part of Christ. How would we participate in the whole Body of Christ if we do not try to humble ourselves and to acknowledge the need for one another? Saint Paul mentioned in his first letter to the Corinthian community saying, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.” If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:21). How would we participate in the Body of Christ, the Church, with Christ the Head it it’s not to learn to have patience and humility towards one another? The decision is ours.

 

Weekend Written Homilies 2020

Weekend Written Homilies 2020


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