Friday, August 12, 2022

Homilies

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.
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Wheat and Weeds

Homily for Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

One way to look at today’s parable would to be regard the wheat as good and the weeds as bad. At the end of the parable, the wheat is gathered into barns and the weeds are burned. However, this is a very black and white kind of interpretation of this parable, and very little in this world of human lives is black and white. In reality most people are an amalgam of both wheat and weeds. Those people we would identify as wheat are sinners like everyone else, and if we are honest about it, those that we identify as weeds are capable of good things as well.

If we think about it, we might be able to recognize that the weeds in our lives present us with an opportunity to grow. Doubt is an opportunity for faith, despair for hope, and selfishness for charity. And, of course, every weed in our lives is an opportunity for love.

How do we know we are on the right path, successfully pruning the weeds from our lives? One of Thomas Merton’s most famous prayers goes in part like this, “… I believe that the desire to please you does, in fact, please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.”

Thankfully, our Lord cuts straight through the results of our fumbling and sees where our heart is and what our intentions are. Our efforts to prune the weeds from our lives are pleasing to God. We have only to listen and follow.

Each day that we celebrate the Eucharist we are exposed to the lessons of God’s Word. St. Clare of Assisi urged her sisters to use God’s Word as a mirror. Gazing deeply into that mirror, we are exposed to the face of Jesus. As we gaze at his face, we can find the areas in our own “faces” that need attention. If we are diligent in this endeavor, we will eventually eradicate the weeds of our lives.

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