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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

24 July 2023

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: Wis. 12:13, 16-19

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

Reading 2: Rom 8:26-27

Alleluia: Cf. Mt 11:25

Gospel: Mt 13:24-43


Today's Gospel shows us that our lives are not perfect and probably each of us is aware of this. Although we strive for perfection in many different realities of our lives, in the end, we always come to some kind of wall, an obstacle that cannot be overcome. The most final obstacle in our lives is death, which cuts through all our plans, ambitions, hopes. Although we strive for the ideal and we have the right to strive for it, we must not forget that this pursuit is difficult, full of suffering, disappointment, failures that hold us back. But is it a bad thing to slow down sometimes? It is impossible to always drive at the same speed, no matter how much and as quickly as possible we want to reach our destination. In today's Gospel, we also see the attitude of servants who, as soon as a weed appears, want to get rid of it immediately. Why? Because according to their thinking, the field should look perfect, it must be clean and free of any weeds. They do not see that in order to pull out the weeds, they are also trampling on the crop that has just begun to grow. Too much focus on evil in spiritual life, too much attention only to sin causes the destruction of good in us and does not bring the intended fruit in spiritual life. People often want to be free from sin, forgetting that life does not consist in freeing oneself from evil, but in fighting evil, which, together with good, grows in us, in our hearts. And what is the worst: we can't avoid it, we can't completely erase evil from our lives, we can only fight it by focusing on the good that is in us and that God gives us. And this is the most important thing in our conversion: to have the will to fight evil, not an overcharged ambition to defeat evil that we cannot defeat on our own. God knows this, and that is why He gives us the time of this life to multiply goodness, love, faith, virtues in us, so that we have more grain than weeds. He is greater than our evil and will deal with it as long as we stay focused on the good. After all, what matters most in our spiritual life: to fight sin or to be saved? I do not want to minimize the role of our conversion and neglect sin, but simply to point out that sin is not the most important reality in our spiritual life, because our salvation is much more important. If we turn away from it and focus all our attention on sin, it will lead us to anger at ourselves and deep frustration. '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. These words "pull up" can also be translated as "turn around", which confirms the truth that you can re-evaluate certain things in life and turn away from what is most important. The strong desire for perfection is good and necessary, but also dangerous because it can focus a man so much on himself and on his actions that it will even lead to the rejection of God, and the goal will not be salvation, but pride built only on one's own spiritual achievements. Therefore, one thing must not be forgotten, namely, to constantly turn to God, to question Him, to meditate on His words, to discern His holy will in prayer. This is well expressed by the attitude of servants who do not act alone, on their own, but go with a question to their master, relying on his decision. And this decision may surprise us, because instead of hastily and immediately cutting the weeds, the master allows them to grow until the harvest. So, does God mind our sinfulness? He has, and a lot of it, because he does not want us to sin, but he understands our weakness differently than we understand it. For we see hopelessness in our weakness, God sees in our weakness an opportunity to draw us even closer to Him. We in our weakness condemn ourselves and others, God does not condemn anyone, but only our weakness, which gives us a constant chance to improve our lives. Since God is not afraid of our weakness and does not require us to artificially blow the balloon of our spiritual ambitions, we should also look at ourselves in the same way and direct our ambition to calm work on ourselves, because we know well that we will not overcome all the evil present in our lives by ourselves. I repeat: the point is not that we should defeat this evil in an instant, but that, by multiplying good, we should patiently and persistently oppose evil throughout our lives. Harvest is approaching, that is, the moment when God will definitively separate the good from the evil in our lives and review what has been produced by all our earthly time. This will be a definitive victory over evil, for now let's enjoy these small daily victories and let's not get down that the weeds of sin are growing in our hearts. God will deal with them, let us strive for the best development of good in ourselves and our brothers and sisters in faith.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


    Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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