July 20, 2014 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 12: 13, 16-19; Ps 86: 5-6, 9-10, 15-16; Rom 8: 26-27; Mt 13: 24-43
The readings for this 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time speak of God’s incredible mercy; St. Paul in his letter to the Romans reminds us how challenging prayer can be; however, Jesus in His Parable of the Sower speaks to the very heart of stewardship.
Christ could not make it more clear in the parable as He identifies directly what the story means. The Lord wants us to understand. The field is the world, with each of us as an important part of it. The seeds are the Word of God, given to us, scattered among us. The crop is the grain, but unfortunately tares – a word used to describe bad seeds and weeds – can come along with what has been planted.
Stewardship calls for us to accept and hear the Word. It challenges us to take that Word and to do something positive with it. The Word is a gift to us. We must nurture that gift and return it to God with surplus. Nevertheless, the Lord knows it is not easy, but it is something we must undertake and be committed to. For truly at the end, at judgment, God will know what is genuine stewardship motivated by love, and what is false stewardship, generated for some other reason. Pope Francis is a steward; he knows that judging is God’s work. At each papal audience he looks for and seeks people with diseases which disfigure them, and he stops and he embraces them. He knows the difference between wheat and tares.