SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
"Have patience with all things, but first with yourself."
The presence of evil and its patronage vis a vis the existence of God and the call to obedience to His commandments have baffled the minds of many humankind for ages. Those who believe in the existence of God cannot fathom why God should allow evil and its perpetrators to still live among the good ones. On the other hand, others believe that the prevalence of evil activities and wicked people who continue to have power and control in our world proves that God does not exist.
Our readings today seek to address this. They spell out the approach of God in dealing with evil people amongst the good ones. The author of our first reading was addressing a prevailing social and religious situation among the Jewish community in diaspora in the hostile Greek world, Alexandria. Evil activities were in abundance in that society, which became an embarrassment to the Jews who were religiously faithful to God. In the attempt to bolster their faith, this piece talks about the patience and compassionate nature of God who is hopeful for the repentance and conversion of evil doers.
God, who is merciful and tolerant, who does not take hasty judgement to discipline and punish, uses love, leniency, clemency and care to lure evil doers and sinners to change and be saved out of charity. No matter what our story is, God still has hope in us. He does not easily give up on us. That is why the Psalmist echoes, "You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity." (Psalm 86:15) As Christians, this should be our attitude towards those who have problems complying to the high ethical standards of our faith community, family, relationships and society expected of a Christian.
Paul in our second reading motivates us that the spirit of God empowers us in our weaknesses. It is by this same spirit that we can do the will of God. Therefore, it is needful to be patient with ourselves and others around us.
Finally, Jesus in the gospel uses a parable to express the Divine wisdom and patience to allow both evil and good to co-exist, as time will expose the difference. He teaches that, through the power of the spirit and time, God can change evil into good.
Hence, as Christians we must be patient, merciful and tolerant to those considered to be the “weeds” in our lives. We can do this by our good example, counselling, sharing the Word of God with them and fervent prayers. Remember, your act of loving correction, charity, and selfless service can prompt an evil person to reassess their lives and modify themselves to be good.
Stay Healthy… PRAY…Keep the faith…Enjoy the Sunny weather….
Let PATIENCE lead…
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.