Homily July 20, 2014 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time
The gospel today is again a parable of an occurrence familiar to the people of Jesus’ time. It has the theme of a farmer planting and the enemy of the farmer introducing the seeds of weeds to disrupt the farmers crop and season. It is the theme of good and evil so prevalent in the life and lore of humankind. It invokes the question of why does God allow evil in the world. If he truly loved us wouldn’t he eliminate pain and suffering in the world. But actually aren’t we missing the real picture here? God’s love is so full that it embraces all of us. All have his love and the gifts he bestowed. Probably the most important or precious gift we have is freedom, to choose what we want. I know that those of you who are parents, know what this freedom of choosing means. No parent I know has ever been 100 percent sure of every decision that their children make. This doesn’t change their love for them, but it is a lesson in love and letting go and support for parents and children. So it is with God. At the very beginning, he gave freedom and choice, and consequently the order and logic and purity of creation began to be altered by choices made by his creatures through the centuries. Death, anger, contention, jealousy and all the other negative realities came to be. Yes, the world is good and evil.
But God is like the farmer in the parable today. He sits back and waits for the time when judgment is due. Like pulling weeds too soon could destroy the crops as well as the weeds, so too in our lives judging now could prevent someone from being all that they might become if they have enough time. God’s love is bountiful and doesn’t just look at this moment or another. No one of us is perfect or ready to be judged at one particular time. In fact we should be grateful that a loving judge will judge us looking at a complete life and how we went about it from a loving viewpoint. Even in people we consider evil, God loves and sees good and always works and act to bring that person to him as he does for each and every one of us. That is why there is evil with good in life and why there can be change in the world.
Every generation it seems has said that they worry that their children have to grow up in a world which is so much more difficult than in past times. Yet every generation survived in spite of all the real or imagined problems. God’s love is there for all and in every generation. This parable then reminds us the need for patience, for love and understanding. We should not try to judge, for in judging ourselves we are almost deceiving ourselves. We should always try to remember God is Love and it never fails.