Catholic Doctrine

16th Sunday of Year A

Catechism Themes

16th Sunday of Year A

CCC 543-550: the Kingdom of God
CCC 309-314: God’s goodness and the scandal of evil
CCC 825, 827: weeds and seed of Gospel in everyone and in the Church
CCC 1425-1429: need for ongoing conversion
CCC 2630: prayer of petition voiced profoundly by the Holy Spirit

Providence and the Scandal of Evil (CCC 309-314)

God’s Word

by Fr. Clement D. Thibodeau



16th Sunday of Year A

Lesson Plans

16th Sunday of Year A –

Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School

The Problem of Moral Evil

What does it mean to categorize evil as moral? The Church is seeking by this terminology to distinguish between the evil we do and the physical evil that is not our personal responsibility, such as an earthquake that tragically kills innocent individuals. The particular set of scriptures the Church assigns to this Sunday emphasizes that there is a type of evil we choose to engage in, either by action or inaction, and at the end times all be judged accordingly. The idea of moral evil rests upon the foundation of free choice. The Church believes that human beings are accountable and therefore move toward their final destiny by their choice, through the exercise of their free will (CCC 311). Any recounting of history provides ample proof that men and women have sinned against God and neighbor.

While acknowledging the existence of moral evil from a very early point in Christian history, our greatest theologians have asserted that God is neither directly nor indirectly responsible for the cause of moral evil in the world. The responsibility for choosing other than the good does not belong to God, but to human beings.

God is neither directly nor indirectly the author or cause of evil; God is always “on our side,” championing the good in us, and working for our well-being. The provident goodness of God works for good in everything, including those events and actions when we choose to do wrong. The worst wrong that humanity ever could possibly engage in, that is, the rejection, torture, and execution of God’s only Son, innocent and without sin, brought about the most amazing of all goods: the glory of the anointed, the Christ, and humanity’s redemption (CCC 312). God came among us in order to free us from that bondage into which we had sunk.

In any discussion of evil, whether physical or moral evil, the question must be asked: why does evil exist at all? Why would not a good God simply create a world without the possibility of evil? The Church points out that, in the end, the resolution of this question is achieved only by the totality of faith. There is no quick or simple answer.


  • When do you struggle between good and evil?
  • What helps you make a good moral decision?
  • Why are we responsible for our choices?
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Catholic Catechism

16th Sunday of Year A

16th Sunday of Year A

Bible Verses Cited in Catechism

1st Reading

Wis 12:13, 16-19

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

2nd Reading

Rom 8:26-27

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

Gospel Reading

Mt 13:24-43

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Featured Video

Featured Lesson

28 Lessons

Fr. Eamon Tobin

Creation of All that is Visible and Invisible

Where did we come from and where are we going? Can Catholics believe in evolution? Where did angels and demons come from? What is special about the creation of human persons? Why does a loving God allow evil and suffering? What is original sin? Why does the Church believe in it when it is not mentioned in the Bible? What do we mean when we say we are born with original sin?

Animated Catechism Series

3 Minute

70 hand drawn and animated episodes, each 3-4 minutes long. The series follows and explains the Creed, covering all four parts of the Catechism. 


MAN: Episodes 1-6
GOD: 12-20
JESUS: 27-33
CHURCH: 51-60

Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

Catholic Answers

16th Sunday of Year A

The biblical support for the concept of a Church containing sinners—yet remaining a true Church—is abundant. The parable of the wheat and weeds (cf. Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43) reads as if the weeds are at least equal in number to the wheat. A moment’s reflection on the proliferation of uncontrolled weeds in any lawn will bring this point home. This is also apparent in the similar pronouncements about wheat and chaff (cf. Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17).

Here is the short of it. The problem of evil points toward the existence of God—the God hypothesis, as it were—because if atheism were true, I would not expect there to be any evil at all, just as I would not expect steeping tea in an abandoned cabin, precisely because I would not expect there to be a contingent universe (frankly, I would expect nothing), a moral standard, moral obligations upon conscious rational agents, and so on. But because there is evil and because theism better predicts or explains those things needed to make sense of evil, then evil provides great evidence for the existence of God.