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Wheat and Weeds

First Reading: Jeremiah 7:1-11

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD,
and there proclaim this message:
Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah
who enter these gates to worship the LORD!
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
Reform your ways and your deeds,
so that I may remain with you in this place.
Put not your trust in the deceitful words:
“This is the temple of the LORD!
The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!”
Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds;
if each of you deals justly with his neighbor;
if you no longer oppress the resident alien,
the orphan, and the widow;
if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place,
or follow strange gods to your own harm,
will I remain with you in this place,
in the land I gave your fathers long ago and forever.

But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss!
Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,
burn incense to Baal,
go after strange gods that you know not,
and yet come to stand before me
in this house which bears my name, and say:
“We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again”?
Has this house which bears my name
become in your eyes a den of thieves?
I too see what is being done, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves 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 has done this.’
His slaves 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;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

NAB

DEV_JU23

For many of us, over these last few months, we have encountered a slew of reasons to feel angry, frustrated, and scared for the world we live in. I hope this comes as a comfort, but for hundreds and hundreds of years, God’s people have felt the same way about their situations. In the First Reading today, Jeremiah is calling for his people to convert their hearts to God. How else will they be able to partake in the great joy of a Heavenly home? This problem isn’t new.

In today’s parable, the Master reminds his hasty servants that there will be a time to separate the wheat from the weeds. But now isn’t that time. When I read this, my first thought was thank goodness because when I look at my own heart, I don’t always see wheat. More often than not, there are weeds there too. Saint Augustine reminds us that “it may so be, that they who today are weeds, may tomorrow be wheat.”

I’m so very grateful for a patient God who knows that I need time, because in this Christian walk I’m clumsy and I stumble. And I’m so, so grateful for my beautiful, virtuous sisters who I can look up to and imitate.

May God’s mercy pour over us, so that our hearts would conform to Him and we might enjoy His heavenly dwelling place.

Take time today to pray for the conversion of all those who are far from God. Remember to also take time to pray for your own conversion.

photo credit

Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.

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