Bulletin: July 23, 2017
Today we are faced with the powerful and almighty God, who deals with us, not out of anger and punishment, but out of kindness and forgiveness. God is forgiving and loving to those who ask and persevere in prayer. Even if we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit of the Lord helps us, for God knows what the Spirit means, “because [the Spirit] intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will” (Romans 8:27). With God’s help, we can be the good seed and not the weeds. If we contemplate the parables, and pray for the guidance of the Spirit, we are able to see ever fresher lessons in these stories.
These are the weeks of parables, and although we have heard them all many times, they never lose their freshness, for always, if we look, we can perceive a new angle.
The parable of the weeds and the wheat, so simple on its surface, is puzzling enough for the disciples to ask Jesus for an explanation. In our own gardens, we tend to yank up the weeds all through the growing season. But in the parable, the weeds and the wheat are allowed to grow together until the harvest. If the good people and the evil people remain mixed throughout life, it puzzles us sometimes: why are people who do bad things not punished? How is it that God allows bad things to happen to good people?
THOSE TINY THINGS
Our God is indeed a God of might; yet that might leads not to vengeance, but to forgiveness. Everyone is offered an opportunity—many opportunities—for forgiveness. Even a little good can blossom into something wonderful. The mustard seed of the Middle East is so tiny that one can barely pick one up with one’s fingertips. (Those familiar with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd know about this wonderful parable, and the tiny dish of mustard seeds that is kept in the atrium for the children to contemplate.) Yeast makes the dough rise to be baked into delicious bread. All of these wonders come from tiny beginnings, if we are ready to hear and understand these mysteries.
Our prayer too is heard by God, even if we do not really understand what we are praying for: “for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit . . . intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit” (Romans 8:26–27).
So if our small prayers are offered with a sincere heart, they are heard by God, even if we don’t always know what it is we do when we pray. Are we praising, blessing God, asking for something? The Spirit knows and intercedes for us.
Today’s Readings: Wis 12:13, 16–19; Ps 86: 5–6, 9–10, 15–16; Rom 8:26–27; Mt 13:24–43 [24–30]