Saturday of the 16th Week of the Year

Matt 13:24-30

The Wheat and the Weed


Cardinal Basil Hume of England wrote in his book To be a Pilgrim, “Deny Yourself.Keep in mind that other people can provide you with excellent opportunities for self-denial. It is harder to endure a bore than to give up sugar in one’s tea.”

We live in an imperfect world and we surrounded by all kinds of persons who rub on us one way or the other. We get irritated by others’ imperfections often failing to see that we ourselves can be irritants to others. Unknowingly, we may end up judging others.

The gospel of today reminds us that God sees the mind and the heart and yet allows the wheat and the weeds to grow together. Then at harvest time, he will separate one from the other.

When we are treated the wrong way or when we are burdened by our own limitations, may we remember the reaction of an oyster when irritated by an intruding sand. It transforms the sand into a beautiful pearl. (Sr. Mar Evelyn Bautista, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


Trento in the southern part of Agusan was the first SVD mission parish in Mindanao. In the 1980s it had many religious denominations like Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, PBMAs, etc. The SVd used to administer a secondary school with students from various religious affiliations. For many believed in the quality education that our Catholic school offered, One day, siblings Carlito and Emma  who were Seventh Day Adventists came and informed us that they would stop schooling because they could no longer afford to pay the tuition fees. We offered them a working scholarship which they gladly accepted. This meant they had to work extra hours in the school besides their regular study load. We had to work out a compromise since Saturday was their seventh day; they would work therefore on Sunday which was for us Catholics the sacred day. Two years later both of them graduated as commendable students, but they never became Catholics like us.

Jesus talks about the presence of weeds among the wheat. No doubt He only established one Catholic and apostolic church but there are many churches that followed thereafter. Jesus allowed this to happen to teach us that His Kingdom is inclusive. In the context of salvation, there is no point of denying that other religious denominations do count. For God is in them too according to the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II. This stark reality can mean a struggle but is this not what our Christian faith is about; struggle, surrender and finally transformation through the power of His grace? For we are all related in God’s love despite our differences! (Bro. Eugene Orog, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


In every political election in our country we are asked to examine closely the candidates whether they are sincere in offering services to the people or they are there to serve their own personal interests. Indeed, people find it difficult to determine the true colors of these politicians and at times they fall into the trap of misinterpreting the “wheat” as weed and “weed’ as wheat.

The gospel today cautions that it is dangerous to pull out the weeds because the roots of the wheat and the weed are intertwined. The farmer has to allow the weeds and the wheat to grow for sometime before pulling the weeds, otherwise, he might destroy the entire harvest.

Similarly, in our life we see both vices and virtues intertwined. It is important to look at the overall directions of our life. As a person we must not focus on single instances of sin and neglect the presence of grace in our lives. (Fr. Nestor Sibug, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


See: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A


The resurgence of fundamentalist terrorism in our times should invite us to examine and search our hearts for some traces of fundamentalist intolerance in our thinking and acting. Heard of terror-parents, terror-neighbors, terror-doctors, terror-professors and even terror-liturgists, priests and nuns? A fundamentalist mindset – be it religious, moral, political – neatly break up humanity into simplistic and sweeping categories like normal and abnormal, leftists and rightists, conservative and progressive, pious and impious, friend and enemy, good and evil. Thi9s mindset leaves no room for dialogue and tolerance and almost always considers the other as the evil incarnate that has to be obliterated from the face of the earth. History has taught us that ambitious utopian projects trying to impose their ideology of the good, the true and the just and weed out with violence those who do not fit into the frame, mutate into tyrannical regimes.

It is comforting to know from the kingdom parable today that our God does not terrorize people to submit to His will and to hasten the establishment of His kingdom. His fundamental passion for human beings, who are created in His image and likeness, is intensified by His patience with the way we are using our individual freedom and realizing our potentials. He respects the dignity and the peculiar history of each person. We human beings, on the contrary, easily fail to recognize, respect and promote the dignity of the other. We can become so obsessed by the imperfections of others which actually is a reflection of our own feelings of inadequacy that we fail to appreciate the enormous potential that each one carries within himself/herself. The parable is a reminder that it is not up to us to sort out the weeds from the wheat. There will indeed come a time of judgment. Until then, we should continue to live out our faith by cooperating in building God’s kingdom with passion and patience. (Fr. Oliver Quilab, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


July 23, 2016 Saturday

There is a famous story of three Japanese warlords who have three different reactions to a bird not singing. One says he will by force make the bird sing. The other says that if the bird does not sing, he will kill it. The third says that he will wait for the bird to sing. This story depicts the temperament of these warlords. Two are impatient and want to use force to get what they want while the other exudes the value of patience. Patience is de ned in Wikipedia as the “state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way”. In today’s gospel, the Master of the household asks his servants to be patient and not succumb to a hurried solution that might destroy the wheat when they pull the weeds at the early stages of their growth. What Jesus is telling in the parable is that things can still change. There is always the possibility of conversion. God is infinitely patient with us. In spite of our repeated sinfulness, His love for us makes Him wait for our renewal and conversion. The President of the Federation of Parents Teacher Association of Holy Name University, said in a speech: “Patience to a child is love. Patience to a spouse is trust. Patience to oneself is confidence. And Patience to God is faith.” Let us constantly ask for the grace of patience in our lives. (Fr. Francisco “Kito” Estepa, SVD Tagbilaran City, Bohol Bible 2016.07.24)


The explanation of the weeds among the wheat indicates to us what living the Kingdom values entails:

  • To live the kingdom values is to court enemies. Not everyone is flattered by goodness and righteousness. There are those who will become your enemies when you do good, because what you do bothers their guilty conscience. There are those who will become your enemies when you do good, because what you do interferes with their money-making and powerful-wielding ways.
  • To live the kingdom values is to refuse to play revenge. Being right can be strong motive for us to use power. But we have to examine: do we use the power to combat evil? Or are we more interested about avenging ourselves? It can happen that we fight for what is truly right, but with selfish motives.
  • To live the kingdom values is to trust in God’s time. There are things that only time can make and unmake. Time and eternity are handmaids of God’s plan. (Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP New Every Morning New Everyday, p. 228)


SATURDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – MATEO 13:24-30. Unsa man nga puwersa ang naghari diha sa atong kinabuhi karon – katarong ba o kadaotan? Usa ka titser ang nagpasabot sa mga batang estudyante kalabot niini. Matod pa niya: “Sa kasingkasing sa matag tawo adunay duha ka lobo nga kanunay’ng gabugno. Ang usa ka lobo yawan-on ug daotan – kini ang tigpasiugda og kasamok, kalaog, panag-away, pagdinumtanay, kasina, ug pagdinaotay. Ang laing lobo maayo ug matarong – kini maoy tigdasig og kalinaw, pagsinabtanay, pagpinasayloay, pagtinahoray, paghinatagay ug pagtinabangay.” Unya, usa sa mga estudyante ang nangutana: “Titser, kinsa man kaha sa duha ka lobo ang magmadaogon diha sa akong kasingkasing?” Ug ang titser nitubag: “Magdepende ra kana kon kinsa sa duha ka lobo ang kanunay nimong giatiman ug gipakaon.” Posted by Abet Uy


Reflection for Saturday July 26, Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Matthew 13:24-30 – Reflection: In the beginning of our lives the Good Lord sowed nothing but goodness into our being. Yet as we grow-up the many influence of this world tried to corrupt us and bring us away from the love of God.

If for example, we are one of those who allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the devil and we allowed the devil to bring us away from the love of God. What are we going to do? Should we remain with the devil and allow him to permanently shield us from the infinite love of God? Of course not! We must do something to immediately be free from the shackles of the devil so that we could go back to the loving embrace of God.

If we decide to go back to the loving embrace of God, HE will never anymore ask us for the bad and evil things that we have done. What God will look for is our repentant heart/s that is very  much willing to ask for forgiveness.

If we are living in sin now, there’s still hope for us. For God will clean and heal us once again. No questions asked, God will simply wipe away all of our sins. The Good Lord  is patiently waiting for us to go back to HIS loving and forgiving embrace once again.   Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reflection for Saturday July 23, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:24-30

Reflection: Do you believe in evil possession?

I’ve watched a movie about a priest who performed an exorcism rite to a lady possessed by the devil. After hours of struggle the priest was able to cure the possessed lady and he drove away the devil from her. Following a few days the priest manifested signs of being possessed and it turned out that the devil whom he banished from the lady silently crept into him. The priest went through the same exorcism rite and was eventually freed from the possession of the devil.

The devil is a reality it is always around us waiting for the perfect moment to possess us it may not be anymore like a diabolical possession. He may not anymore appear like a Diablo. For it will be very obvious already often times the devil stealthy hides beneath lustful intentions, ego trip, the absence of humility, greed for money and power, it always there ever ready to temp us to commit sin.

The weeds mentioned in the gospel parable are the many temptations that the devil sows in our way. It is always there being dangled before us. Some of us succumb to these many temptations and we naturally sin. But even if we sin God will not immediately condemn us to eternal damnation perhaps self-righteous people will condemn us right away but God will not.

God will surely be merciful and patient with us sinners He will be there waiting for us to turn our backs from our sinful ways. God’s love and forbearance toward us is immeasurable He will give us countless opportunities for us to mend our sinful ways.

Let us therefore take advantage of these chances for renewal given to us by God before it’s too late. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


OUR HEARTS – A MIXTURE OF GOOD AND BAD – While driving from Nazareth towards Galilee, I saw a strange field. I stopped, got out of the car, and took a closer look. It was a barley field, but there were more weeds than barley plants. It was a totally neglected field and I remembered the parable Jesus told about the wheat and weeds.

It is quite clear what Jesus tries to tell with this parable. When God created the world, “He saw that it was very good.” And yet, the next pages of the Bible tell about so many evil things in the world. When Jesus preached, He wanted nothing more than to bring God’s love into the world distorted by evil. He wanted to create a family of followers who would reflect God’s love and compassion. But He was very realistic. He knew that this was utopia, that nowhere in this world something could be 100 percent good. We just have to look at his chosen Twelve Apostles.

The late Fr. Benedict Groeschel, known to many from EWTN, once wrote, “The day He (Jesus) told them, ‘Do this in memory of Me’ — on that day they ran out on Him… It is the anniversary of the day when the first priests failed miserably… Does that tell you something about the Church? Is it the true Church? Yes. But in this world, it is a collection of poor sinners.” Nowhere in the world, nowhere in the Church, nowhere among and in ourselves do we find ‘pure wheat.’ It is always mixed with the weeds of evil. The sentence about God’s ‘very good’ creation and this parable make it clear that evil does not come from God, as some dare to conclude when they see so much evil in the world. The world as well as our heart is the battlefield where good and evil constantly fight. We are, and that’s the reality, a mixture of good and evil, of ‘wheat and weeds.’”

Is evil stronger? No. It all depends on how much we human beings allow evil to win a battle. It depends on how strong we reject temptations to do something contrary to the will of God. We should never blame God when we see evil. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you allow temptations to win the battle in your heart?

Lord, You were very realistic and knew that nothing and nobody will ever be totally good. But You gave us the sacraments to strengthen us for the ongoing battles in our hearts. May I never be overwhelmed by evil but respond with Your love and compassion. Amen.


July 23, 2016

REFLECTION: In the Vatican II Weekday Missal, the saint we are remembering today, Bridget of Sweden, is classified a “religious.” She did indeed establish a religious order of women, the Order of the Holy Savior, more popularly known as the Bridgetines. But the fact that she was married for 28 years and raised eight children doesn’t seem to count in the eyes of the celebate clerics who classify saints…

Born in Sweden in 1302 of noble stock, Bridget married Ulf Gudmarson at 14 years old. For the next 28 years she and Ulf led a life centered on their family, their Catholic Church and their community. After her husband’s death in 1344, Bridget lived as a penitent near a Cistercian monastery. There she experienced visions and revelations about the Passion of Jesus Christ and the current conditions in the Church and in Europe. These revelations were put down on paper and are still extant. In 1349 Bridget went to Rome and remained there for the rest of her life until her death in 1373.
Here was a great woman, who lived the life of a devoted mother and wife. She was canonized in 1391, barely 18 years after her death. Bridget’s maid testified that “she had a laughing face.”


See Today’s Readings: Year I,   Year II

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