16th Sunday of Year A

Brant Pitre

Mass Readings Explained

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Dicastery for
the Clergy

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Christianity is essentially optimistic, but it is not utopian

Good and evil, present among mankind have a different origin.

Evil is vanquished by good

Apostles of Good

Elite Christians or mass Christians?

Kieran J.
O’Mahony, OSA

Hearers of the Word



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Catholic Climate Covenant



16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A


Wisdom 12: But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency. 

Romans 8: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.

Matthew 13: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants…. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.”

St. Charles Borromeo Bible Study Commentary


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Sources Include in PDF: 

  • The Jerome Biblical Commentary
  • The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, and 
  • The Navarre Bible
  • Church History by Laux (TAN Books), 

Fr. Francis Martin

The Word Proclaimed Institute



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Wiki Connections

16th Sunday of Year A

Gospel Connections

Mt 13:24-43

16th Sunday of Year A

1st Reading Connections

Wis 12:13, 16-19

16th Sunday of Year A

2nd Reading Connections

Rom 8:26-27

16th Sunday of Year A

Responsorial Connections

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

Bible Study

16th Sunday of Year A


St. Timothy Catholic Church, Laguna Niguel, CA


This week’s study is on Matthew, chapter 13, verses 1-23, the Gospel reading for Sunday, July 16th, 2023, The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A.

0:00 – Welcome
0:57 – Opening Prayer
2:13 – Introduction
3:42 – Gospel Reading
10:44 – Teaching
21:21 – Q & A
51:23 – Closing prayer

Catholic Sunday Scriptures in Context

Fr. Paul Galetto, O.S.A. briefly unpacks the history and context of the Sunday readings.


Agape Bible Study

16th Sunday of Year A



God is Merciful and Patient

God dispenses justice to both the righteous and the wicked, but even those who defy Him and disobey His commandments can hope for His mercy if they turn to Him in repentance.


Michal E Hunt, Copyright © 2014; revised 2023 Agape Bible Study; used with permission

1st Reading

God is Merciful

In the First Reading, the inspired writer of the Book of Wisdom proclaims the power and goodness of the one righteous and just God.  He dispenses His justice with mercy and kindness, and, by His example, God teaches His covenant people that the righteousness He requires of us must be defined by compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.


Michal E Hunt, Copyright © 2014; revised 2023 Agape Bible Study; used with permission

2nd Reading

Intercession of the Holy Spirit

St. Paul promises in today’s Second Reading that the Holy Spirit is ready to intercede for us when we call upon Him for help.  He will always intercede for us, according to the will of the Father, even when we cannot articulate our need for His intervention.


Michal E Hunt, Copyright © 2014; revised 2023 Agape Bible Study; used with permission


The Parable of the Weeds

The Greek word translated “weeds” is darnel, a poisonous weed that resembles wheat early in its growth cycle.  The only use for the darnel was to bundle the plants and burn them for fuel (see Mt 13:30).  It is a good metaphor for the unrepentant sinner who can masquerade as one of the righteous but is not fit for the Kingdom of God.

In verse 30, the owner of the field, the “householder,” tells his slaves to let the “wheat” (children of God) and the “weeds” (those who reject Jesus as Lord and Savior) grow together.  The owner’s answer applies to the human harvest of souls. The owner does not want to take the chance that uprooting the weeds will destroy any of the wheat accidentally pulled up.  God, in His mercy, gives sinners every opportunity to repent their sins and turn back to a fruitful relationship with Him.  He will not visit judgment upon the sinner until the last breath the sinner takes in this life (see CCC 8271036-37).

The Church teaches that even in the community of the faithful, the “weeds of sin will be mixed in with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time” (CCC 827).  Like the slaves of the owner of the field, the Church gathers to herself sinners already caught up in Christ’s salvation but still making their way on the journey to holiness.  Some scholars suggest that the slaves of the master are the disciples of Jesus.  However, it is more likely, since Jesus is the “householder,” that the slaves of His house are the members of the ministerial priesthood who must welcome the sinner and the saint into the household of Christ that is His Church.

There are two themes in this parable: the first is the patience of the Lord in waiting for sinners to repent, and the second is the inevitability of a final judgment.  As in the Parable of the Sower, when His disciples do not understand, Jesus patiently explained His teaching (Mt 13:1-9, 18-23).  Jesus told His disciples that the “field” is the world, and the “harvest” is the judgment at the end of the age.  There are five different people or kinds of people mentioned in the parable (six if you count the slaves of the master/owner).  Jesus identifies five different groups/persons: 

1. The sower of the seed
He who sows good seed is the Son of Man
2. The good seed/wheat
the good seed, the children of the Kingdom
3. The darnel/weeds
The weeds are the children of the evil one
4. The sower of the weeds
and the enemy who sows them is the devil
5. The harvesters
and the harvesters are angels

The slaves and the harvesters are two different groups since the master told the slaves in 13:30 that He will instruct the “harvesters” at the time of the harvest to collect the weeds first.  Notice the contrast between “the children of the Kingdom” and the “children of the evil one.”  Once again, Jesus taught that there was no middle ground—a person is either for Him or against Him.  God is just, merciful, and patient, but He does not force us to accept citizenship in the Kingdom and His gift of eternal salvation.  If a person has not chosen to be a child of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, he has chosen to be a child of the devil (1 Jn 3:10)!  

What choice have you made?  Remember, there is no middle ground.  You have until you draw your last breath or, if you are still living, until the time of Christ’s glorious return in His Second Advent to make your choice, but be aware that your choice will have eternal consequences!


Michal E Hunt, Copyright © 2014; revised 2023 Agape Bible Study; used with permission