16th Sunday of Year A
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EXPLORE — WHEAT
The Book of Wisdom was written for Jewish people living in cities heavily influenced by Greek culture and philosophy. Wisdom teaching was to remind them of their history and relationship with God. People are to learn from the patience and gentleness and forgiving nature of God and show this in their own lives. How can you be both ‘just’ and ‘kind’? Does your use of power show itself in being ‘lenient’ and gentle to all?
Last week the Spirit dwelling within us was referred to as a ‘first-fruits’. A first installment. An engagement ring looking forward to the promise of the wedding day! St Paul today provides a beautiful image of the presence and power of the Spirit at work in us. The Spirit prays within us in a unique way to God. Have you experienced a time of wanting to pray to God but not having words to describe how you feel. What prayer intention does your body and spirit ‘groan’ with to God? Do you recognise that this experience can be a powerful prayer? Offer this groaning today to God in prayer.
Weeds. Seeds. Yeast. Each image expresses something of the way that God and God’s project (growing the Kingdom of heaven) is present and alive in the world. Allowing wheat and weeds to grow together is risky farming. What is your emotional reaction to the presence of good and evil existing alongside each other?Within you? Can you glimpse the patience of God?
SOURCE: Living the Word resources are created by Fr Frank Bird a Marist priest and Mrs Bev McDonald, ACSD, distributed by Marist Laity Auckland, NZ
1. The owner of the field who allowed the wheat and the darnel to grow to- gether is a reminder to us to be patient with ourselves and with others when we see everything is not right. Sometimes a preoccupation with the negative (the darnel) can blind us to seeing the posi- tive in our own lives and in the lives of others. When have you found that a will- ingness to live with the messiness of the present created the conditions for future growth?
2. Have you ever found that it was through accepting the darnel that you learned important lessons for life, e.g., learning by making mistakes, or asking stupid questions, or taking foolish risks?
3. The parables of the mustard seed and the leaven are reminders that seemingly insignificant things can have very posi- tive results. Have you ever been sur- prised by the benefit to yourself or others of a kind gesture, a small initiative, or a word of encouragement?
SOURCE: Hearers of the Word
Care, justice, mercy, leniency. What would world history be like if all leaders had possessed these qualities? Are all people who work in law enforcement full of mercy, kindness and caring or could some use a little “topping off’?
Do you remember that the Spirit is present with you? What gives nobility to your small efforts, sufferings and weaknesses? Do you ever call on the Spirit when you are in need? Think of all the ways the Spirit has come to your aid when you have needed help.
Can you always tell the weeds from the flowers, or saints from sinners? If you are quick to judge might you mistake a saint for a sinner? Is God patient with you regarding the “weeds” in your own garden? How patient are you with others? With yourself?
SOURCE: Portland Diocese
Turn to the person next to you and share what verse or image in the readings caught your attention or drew you in. Was there a verse or aspect of the readings that challenged you?
The second reading on the role of the Holy Spirit in our prayer life is quite interesting. How is this reading special to you?
Do we think that the Church would be better off without some types of people?
How hard or easy is it for you to live alongside or converse with people whose beliefs are very different from yours politically and spiritually, and to refrain from judging them?
Fr. Tom Green, S.J., says that God can use our sins (weeds) as well as our virtues to draw us closer to him. What do you think about that?
Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
SOURCE: Ascension Catholic Parish, Melbourne, FL
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by Edrianne Ezell
Sunday Scripture Study
The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father
What does the 1st Reading teach us about God’s might, justice and mercy? How is the way that God acts (or does not act) different from the way that we might act? What, according to the writer of the Book of Wisdom, should this teach us about God and ourselves?
In our journey to becoming more like God, from Whom do we receive assistance? What kind of assistance does he give us?
In the parable of the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30 and Matthew 13:36-40), who is the sower? What does the wheat represent? The weeds? The enemy? The harvest?
How does this parable relate to Matthew 7:15-20?
Why does this parable so puzzle the disciples? Why is patience and tolerance towardunbelievers difficult for them (and for us)?
In the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast (Matthew 13:31-33), what aspects of Jesus’ministry seem small? What is the promise if the small seed is sown?
How does the kingdom of heaven become evident to others?
Where (in your life or in your parish) have you seen faith like “yeast” or a “mustard seed” havea great impact? Where is the harvest field God has placed you in?
What accountability are you now feeling for yourself? For others? To God? What are you“hearing” God call you to do as a result?