Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 23, 2023

Today's readings reveal a very patient and compassionate God who hopes for the conversion of those who have drifted away from Him. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom shows us a merciful and patient God, rather than a God who disciplines and punishes us as is presented in the book of Genesis or in other’ books of the Old Testament. The second reading, taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans, reminds us that the Spirit of God constantly empowers us in our prayers and in our weakness. So, we should be patient with ourselves and put always our lives in the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel parable of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus presents a compassionate and patient God who allows good and evil to coexist in the world until its end. God expects with hope for a long time that those relate to the evil somehow may come to conversion before their time in this life ends. God offers them many signs and the grace and strength so that they may get reconciled with Him at least once in their entire life. God recognizes that there is evil in the world, but people can do good with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In this parable, Jesus invites us to practice patience and show mercy to those who seem to us to fail to meet the high ethical standard expected of a Christian. Let's treat the "weeds" in our family and society with patience and love. We can help them get back on the right path to Heaven through our example, encouragement, and prayer for their conversion. We remember that most of us have been “weeds” in God’s field more than once, and God has shown us mercy.

Also, God invites us to grow up as healthy wheat without excuses in his field, leaving the “weeds” for God to take care of. The Good News is that growth and maturity in christian life are probably the most effective forms of weed control. Our faith can stop the effectiveness and influence of those far from God in our lives. And our transparent and exemplary Christian lives will be an interesting challenge and a forceful invitation to evildoers to repent of their sinful lives and turn to a loving and forgiving God. Our acts of charity, kindness, mercy, encouragement, loving correction, and selfless service can inspire the “weeds” in our society to reassess their lives, modify them, and grow into useful members of society.

Brothers and sisters—-let us continue growing in our Christian life as “good wheat”, for our own good and salvation and for the salvation of others. May the Holy Spirit help us in this effort.