16th Sunday in ordinary time
17 July 2011
Goi Church, Chiba
Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,
Today we read in the Gospel about the parable of the wheat and weeds, which teaches us that God is patient with the weak.
The Gospel states:
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slave of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ’An enemy had done this.’
His slave said to him.
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ’No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest.
The field where the wheat and weeds are growing together really is like this world. We are often faced with the question why is there so much evil in the world: which is what many of us thought when the East Japan Earthquake devastated our country on 11 March 2011.
The situation of the field is also similar to how we experience ourselves. We feel in ourselves that good and evil are dwelling together. We feel love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. (cf.Gal.5･22) But in our human nature we can find fornication, impurity, quarrels, envy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, jealousies and the like. (cf.5･19-21)
There is opposition between the Spirit and our human nature. St. Paul says: For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. (Gal 5･17)
And what adds greatly to this difficulty is that good and evil are tangled together and it is very difficult to separate them.
As St. Paul himself says in Romans: What an unhappy man I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death. (Rom 7･24)
However he follows this immediately with, Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!
In the second reading of today’s Mass, St. Paul says: 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 groans.
God is patient. We must be patient with the weakness of our brothers and sisters and also be patient with the weakness of our-selves. So we must pray to the Lord to give us wisdom and patience with the aid of the Holy Spirit.