Saturday, 28 July 2018 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures speaking to us about the call which God made to His people through His prophet Jeremiah, in our first reading today. At that time, the people of the kingdom of Judah lived wickedly and were not faithful to the commandments and laws which God had given them. They have profaned themselves and made a mockery of God’s holy Temple, through the idols they have built in the holy place of God and other wicked deeds.

Nonetheless, in what He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, although God despised the wicked deeds and acts which the people had performed and all of their unfaithfulness, but in the end, He is still a loving Father and God to all of them. For He had chosen them as His people, and He surely loved each and every one of them without exception. But the Lord was not happy with the fact that despite all the reminders and promptings which He had given them, they still stubbornly continued to live in sin.

In the Gospel passage today, we listened to a different but related story, of a parable which the Lord Jesus told to the people, about a sower of seeds, who sowed good seeds in a field, only for an enemy to come in the middle of the night, spreading weeds among the wheat. As a result, the weeds became intermingled with the wheat, and it was impossible to separate the two, as their roots had grown around each other. Killing one plant would have killed the other in that scenario.

As such, the sower who is also the master of the field told his servants that they should not pull out the weeds and let them to grow with the wheat until the day when the harvest comes. It is at the time of the harvest that all the wheat would be gathered into the barn of the owner, and the weeds separated from them, and cast into the fire that will destroy all of them. This parable truly has a deep and symbolic meaning to each and every one of us living in this world.

First of all, the sower represents the Lord, while the enemy represents the devil, the great enemy of all of us. The Lord spreads to all of us His good seeds, that is love, hope, faith and all the good Christian virtues and values. Meanwhile, the devil, Satan spreads out the seeds of evil, that are the weeds mentioned in the Gospel parable, representing hatred, wickedness, all sorts of vices and vile things, pride, greed and arrogance.

And thus, all of us are like wheat entangled with weeds, as those who live our lives and existence in this world, filled with God’s love and grace, but also tainted by the corruption of sin and wickedness, caused by the temptations of Satan and by the lure of sin. But God did not want us all to be destroyed right away, just as the owner did not ask his servants to pluck out the weeds right away, as the wheat would then also be destroyed.

Instead, the Lord gave us all opportunities, chances, one after another, to give us the time to realise how sinful we are and how we are all in need of God’s mercy, healing and forgiveness. The wheat and the weeds are also given the time to grow into full term until the time of the harvest in the Gospel parable, and this represents the many opportunities God has patiently given us, because although He despises our sins, but He still loves us all, His children and His people.

But, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must also be aware that there is indeed a time of reckoning, the time when all will end, the moment of truth, when the Lord will declare His great harvest time, and gather all the wheat to Himself. What does this mean, brethren? All those who are faithful to God and follows His commandments and laws, they will receive their just rewards when God comes again to gather them to His side.

Those who refused to follow the Lord and disobey Him, all of them will suffer because of their conscious rejection of the One Who has loved us. They are to be the weeds that will be thrown into the fire, to suffer eternal anguish, destruction and the ultimate pain of being separated from God. Without God, we cannot live or survive, and without His love, we will end up with nothing.

The choice has been given to us, by the virtue of the free will that God has given us. Do we want to be the wheat or the weed? The choice is ours, and our actions will determine if we are truly made to be wheat or to be weed. Now as Christians, our faith calls us all to be like the wheat, to be filled with God’s love, and to strive to be ever faithful and dedicated to Him. Shall we do our best from now on, dedicating ourselves to God with all of our hearts and with all of our might?

May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of life, and let us all grow stronger in this faith we have, that we truly can be good Christians, as those who follow the Lord, Our God and Saviour, and fill ourselves with every grace and blessings. May God lead us all into the eternal glory He promised to all who have been true to Him, now and always. Amen.

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