23 July 2016
Saturday, 17th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Bridget of Sweden, Widow
Jer 7:1 – 11 / Mt 13:24 – 30
St. Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 1373), a mother of seven children, one of whom was canonized as St. Catherine of Sweden, became a Franciscan tertiary and founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior. With Sts. Catherine of Siena (1347 – 1380) and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891 – 1942), she was declared co-patroness of Europe by St. John Paul II in 1999.
Gospel Reading: Mt 13: 24 – 30
Jesus told them another parable, "The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and left.
"When the plants sprouted and produced grain, the weeds also appeared. Then the servants of the owner came to him and said: 'Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?'"
"He answered them: 'This is the work of an enemy.' They asked him: 'Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?' He told them: 'No, when you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let they just grow together until harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the workers: Pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them; then gather the wheat into my barn.'"
If we are honest with ourselves, we can see that despite our attempts to be faithful in our Christian life, there will always be areas where we fall short. Perhaps it is a weakness, a vice, a particular sin which always make us fall despite our efforts. In these situations, it is tempting to give up and say, "It is useless, I will never change."
But God does not judge us in the same harsh way as we judge ourselves. Patiently, He allows us to fall in order to become more humble and to admit that, without His help, we cannot progress in our journey towards Him. The Lord can easily remove our defects from us but many times He allows our weaknesses to remain in order to remove from us an even deadlier sin, which is pride.
The Lord exhorts us to be more merciful, more understanding with the people around us. Oftentimes it is easy for us to judge them in their weaknesses and defects. But God, who loves us as we are, desires that we too should love others in the same way, accepting them when they are strong and even when they are weak.
We should not be complacent because the Gospel reading also speaks about gathering the weeds to be burned. Our Lord, though merciful, is also a God of justice, and He will judge all who desire to enter into His kingdom. The question is – will He find in us the same love with which He Himself has loved us?
For the eternal repose of the soul of Engr Perfecto Labrador.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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