Tuesday of the 17th Week of the Year

Matt 13:36-43

The Explanation of the Parable of the Weeds


The presence of evil has always been with us. Jeremiah turns to God, questioning why so much evil has come upon His chosen people. Finally Jeremiah acknowledges not only the guilt of his ancestors, but his own guilt.

In explaining to his disciples the parable of the weeds among the wheat, Jesus describes the problem of evil. The son of Man has sown the good seed – the citizen of God’s Kingdom in the soil of the world. The weeds are those followers of the evil one who are planted among the good seed. There is a purpose in allowing evil and good to co-exist in the same environment. All of us are given the freewill to choose good over evil throughout the span of our lifetime. In making these choices we either move closer to God or deliberately turn away. (Fr. Emeterio dela Paz, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


In our childhood days, colourful heroes and heroines were made to fight against the dark and ugly villains who were evildoers. They were real and alive in our imagination, e.g. Superman, Batman, Darna, etc

Today’s gospel, the forces of good and evil are described as the good seed versus the weeds, the Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of the evil one. Within us experientially, we feel two tendencies opposing each other as explained by St. Paul: the good which I want to do, I fail to do; but what I do is the wrong which is against my will, (Rom 7:19).

Just as we have forces of good and evil, there are two cultures we are confronted with in life. One is the culture of death that promotes the anti-life mentality of violence, contraceptives, abortion, divorce, and the other is the culture of life that promotes peace, justice and solidarity which the Church and Pope john Paul II proclaim tirelessly to the modern world. It is a choice between life and death; in Christ’s words: “if you have ears, then hear.” (Fr. Joe Mirabueno, SVD Bible Bible Diary 2004)


Sabog-tanim, literally translated sow-plant, is a common way of farming among rice farmers in Rizal, Palawan. The farmers actually call the practice, ‘direct.’ The farmers sow the seeds of palay straight into the paddies and that’s it! In the meantime, as the seeds sprout, some grass starts to grow also.

One time I was visiting a parishioner in his farm. Looking at the rice field, I asked him: “Why do you allow the grass to grow with the palay plant? And he says: “Father, if you remove the grass both grass and palay would be uprooted, both would be destroyed. So, I just wait ‘til harvest time.”

Sometimes we hear the question asked: “Why does God allow bad people to continue living in this world? Such question is hard to answer. However, in my own reflection, I realized that God does allow bad people to remain in this world so that God’s glory might be revealed. As God is patient with bad people, each one of us is challenged to have patience too and be more understanding to such people. This challenges us also to imitate St. Alphonsus in sowing the good seed of the Good News of the Lord Jesus among people. This is also makes me realize that indeed, the end time will surely come, harvest time is sure to happen. (Fr. Tony Pegon, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


Renato was one of the two master carpenters who built our small convent. He was silent type of person who did his work well. Being single at thirty he still lived with his elderly parents and became the breadwinner of the family.

Then tragedy struck. For no apparent reason an identified person shot him while he was on his way to church. The bullet entered his shoulder and lodged at his lower back hitting the spinal column. For two months he was brought from one hospital to the other; in the process they lost practically all their properties. Two days after receiving the sacrament he died.

The whole barangay had one question: why him? The same question asked by a rabbi who lost his only son, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Jesus did not mince words when He described the realities of this world: good and evil, they co-exist. Unfortunately there are times. When evil seems to triumph over the good, like what happened to Renato and the biblical character, Job. Moreover, evil comes from without and from within. It could come in the form of painful sickness or problem that lead to the breaking point of one’s endurance.

What can Christians do in a world beset by evil and threatened by its ultimate weapon which is death? Continue fighting all forms of evil. Overcoming evil with good. Whatever comes, hold on to faith.

Being human we cry in anguish when evil seems to have the upper hand, but we hang in there and hold on to God’s hands, who teaches out even beyond death, where understanding will finally dawn and justice meted out (Gospel).

Ours is not to ask the question “why.” We keep on clinging to Him in faith; it is what the Lord asks of us. For He is true to His promises. He is loving, faithful and merciful (1st reading). (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2007)



A friend of mine once visited me in the seminary. In our conversation, she confided to me that her relationship with her best friend was on the brink of collapse. As I listened to her, I found out that the reason for impending breaking up was a feedback he gave to her friend. The latter shouted at her saying, “The hell with them! The hell with you! You’re all the same! All of you go to hell!”

Many writers say that hell is a state of imperfection. It is a condition of agony, of nothingness, and of depravity. Many Christians adhere to this notion.

The Church teaches that hell exists. The gospel describes hell as a “fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” That hell truly exists is without question. Whether it is a condition or a place, we really don’t know. All we know is that those, as the gospel informs us, “who cause others to sin and all evildoers” will be “collected and burned up” in hell.

For this reason, let us neither be the cause for others to sin nor do evil deeds to others so that we can enter the Kingdom of the Father “shining like the sun.” (Fr. Ross Heruela, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


July 26, 2016 Tuesday

In an SVD school in Chile was a parent who frequently raised questions about faith. One day, she asked me: “Padre, why doesn’t God simplify things for us? Can’t He simply bring about peace by keeping good people alive and eliminating all those who are evil?” I replied with a question: “If you are a mother of ten children five of whom are behaving well, and the other five are giving you terrible headaches, will you eliminate your bad children?” Immediately, she said: “Of course not!”

In the parable of the weeds, Jesus presents to us the Kingdom of God as a reality that grows but not without threats and obstacles. We hear bad news and frightening situations daily. In our small communities and families, we also find “weeds” growing among the wheat. When we scrutinize our own self, we find lights and shadows. We have to deal with our weaknesses and resolve our conflicts. The psalmist reminds us of God’s merciful love and the hope of our salvation: “Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned? But you forgive us, so that we should stand in awe of you” (Psalm 130:3-4).

The Lord shows us incomparable patience and kindness and endless opportunities to make the goodness within us grow and flourish. We have to decide whether to let the good seeds grow or to allow the weeds to extinguish the light of goodness in our hearts. In the parable, Jesus speaks of harvest, of reckoning, of judgment, of having to give an account of our life to the Author of life.

When that moment comes, may we find ourselves smiling and singing because the good seeds of the Kingdom sown within us have definitively triumphed over the weeds of our pride and selfishness. (Fr. Edwin Fernandez, SVD DWC, Laoag Bible Diary 2016)



Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the weeds and wheat brings home to us the reality that life is not just a mixture of the good and the bad, but also the fact that life on earth is a special struggle between good and evil. Evil never stops doing what it can to sabotage the designs of God: design of fruitfulness and goodness, designs of peace. The struggle goes on ‘til the end of the world:

In line with this:

  • We should be discerning for evil is subtle in its ways. The darnels (weeds) were at first hard to distinguish from the young wheat. They resembled the young wheat. In the same way, evil can masquerade as good.
  • We should invoke the ministry of the angels. The angels are “ministering spirits.” In the same way that they serve God, they will also surely serve us who are God’s image and likeness. We have just to believe in them, and call on them.
  • We should never be overconfident. The darkness and calm of the night became the occasion for the enemies to sow the weeds among the wheat.
  • We should have patience and perseverance. We should sustain our goodness ‘til the end when the harvest finally comes. (Fr. Domie Guzman New Every Morning New Everyday p. 231)


WE, THE WEEDS. We live in an imperfect world. That is true. What we often forget is that the reason for the imperfection of the world is not other people but us – you and I. If the world is imperfect, it is not because you and I are surrounded by evil men/women. If the world is imperfect, it is because we have contributed to the imperfection of the world. And for the third time in ten days, the parable of the wheat and the weeds is presented to us in the liturgy. Three times in ten days. Why so? Because it is so difficult for us to understand and realize and accept and admit that we are weeds and not wheat. (Soc Villegas, Love Like Jesus, p. 142)


Monday, July 27, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 13:36-43. UNSA MAY ANGAY NATONG BUHATON SA MGA DAOTANG ELEMENTO SA KATILINGBAN? Usahay, tungod kay gusto kitang malimpyo sa mga daotan, mogamit kita’g mga paagi nga dili sakto. Pananglitan, gusto nato nga palayason ang “adik” nga anak, o dili na tagdon ang nakasala nga silingan, o kaha ipa-lethal injection ang usa ka kriminal. Kini maoy “short cut” nga mga paagi sa pagwala sa daotan. Apan, dili ingon niini ang kabubut-on sa Dios. Ang sambingay sa mga sagbot sa uma nagtudlo nga ang Dios puno sa pasensya. Itugot niya nga ang mga matarong magpuyo uban sa mga daotan aron kini masukod ug masulayan. Andam usab siya mohatag sa mga daotan og kahigayonan aron magbasol ug magbag-o. Ang maayong balita mao nga sa kaulahian, magmadaugon gayod ang mga matarong ug silotan ang magpabiling daotan. Posted by Abet Uy



REAL INTIMACY – The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. – Exodus 33:11

Virtual friendships are fast overtaking our relationships. What with a gamut of gadgets that are easily bundled with every unlimited plan conceivable, making friends and staying as friends is as easy as flicking your finger across your smartphone’s screen. But do virtual friendships foster real intimacy and deep love?

A great example of intimacy was Moses’ relationship with the Lord. What an honor it was for Moses to speak to the Lord “face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” Such intimacy was born from spending time together, from the powerful revelation of the Ten Commandments to the constant one-on-ones in the Tent of Meeting. This relationship deepened as Moses desired to become more like God and to know His ways.

If only we netizens can get to know the Lord by “friending” Him on Facebook, following Him on Twitter, and seeing Him on Instagram. But just like Moses, we become intimate with the Lord the old-fashioned way — by spending time with Him in prayer, reflecting on His Word, and becoming more and more like Him. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)

Reflection: “How do we begin to know who You are until we begin ourselves to be something of what You are? We receive enlightenment only in proportion as we give ourselves more and more completely to God in humble submission and love.” (Thomas Merton)

Lord, I want to know You in the way You reveal Yourself to me. Give me the grace to reflect on Your Word every day. Amen.



THE CRITERION FOR DISCERNMENT – Wheat and weeds in their early stages can look much alike. Sometimes what is seen as wheat are actually weeds; what is seen as weeds are wheat.

The evil one can pretend to be good. Evil can present itself as an angel of light. Lucifer means light. Evil can enter even inside the church. He can dance even in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He can be one among us and participate in our social action programs and works of service. He can imitate even the voice of God. The weeds can pretend to be wheat.

On the other hand, there are times when what we consider wheat are weeds. Evil can be disguised as good. It takes a lot of discernment to identify the wheat from the weeds, the good from evil.

Many have quoted the Scriptures and heard voices in silence, but only a few have found their way to God. We need to open our hearts to the will of God. How do we know if our decision is in accordance with God’s will? Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, “For us to know the will of God, we need to ask the following questions: Are you happy with your decision? Are you at peace with your decision? Is there a cross in your decision? Without the cross, that is not the will of God. The very criterion for discernment is love, because only God is love.”

The difficulty of distinguishing the wheat from the weeds brings to us the truth that we are not the final judge. Justice rests in God alone. In spite of the difficulty to identify the wheat and weeds, we need to hold on to the truth that evil has no power over the good. The land where the wheat is planted is owned by God, not by the devil. He sowed good seed in His field. In His perfect time, all evil and sin will be eradicated. In His perfect time, the good will triumph over evil. Everything is owned by our good God. We were created for God, not for evil. Our power comes from God. Our power is love. Fr. Alex Balatbat        

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How can you begin to see the world through the eyes of a loving God? Do you believe that He is greater than the sum of all our fears?

We profess our faith. I believe in God…



God’s Final Harvest

July 28, 2015 (readings)

Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13: 36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this new day. I believe that you are present in my heart. I believe that you want to give me your wisdom to live this life fruitfully. I trust that your mercy will protect me as I struggle against evil. I love you because you have overcome evil by your cross and resurrection. I want to live this moment of prayer as an intense moment to be transformed by you.

Petition: Lord, help me to look forward to your triumph with hope.

  1. He is Watching Us:The difference between good and evil is not lost for God. He knows the struggles we have to live goodness in this world that is often so impregnated with evil. He assures us that he sees the good that is done and will give recompense for it. I should strive to live each day knowing that I am seen by God and consistently try to sow goodness in my life.
  2. The Limit of Evil:When sometimes it seems like evil can triumph in the world, we need to recognize that God has the last say over evil. He mysteriously allows evil to exist so that good can become purified. There will be a moment when evil will be judged and will no longer have power over our lives. If we have sowed goodness with our lives and if we are living in God’s grace, he will free us from the domain of evil forever. Let us build up our confidence in the coming of his kingdom. Let us use the struggle against evil as a way to show the sincerity of our love.
  3. We Reap What We Sow:The assurance of Christ that there will be a final judgment gives Christians both soberness and joy in living their lives. We know our efforts are not in vain. We realize that this life is the short opportunity the Father gives us to do good and prepare for our great destiny with him. When I am tempted to lose patience in the fight, I must remember that the struggles will soon be over, and God will more than recompense for the sacrifices I have made in following his will and promoting goodness in the world.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I believe that you are in charge of my life. I renew my trust in the triumph of your holiness in my life. When I feel the pull of evil in my heart, I will remember that this life is short and that my struggle is precious in your eyes. Help me to keep my eyes on the happiness you are preparing for me.

Resolution: I will speak about the joy of receiving the sacrament of reconciliation with someone I meet today, planting in that person’s heart the seed of the desire to receive this sacrament.

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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