Ps 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
The Lord is kind and merciful.
17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green)
1st Reading: Ex 33:7-11; 34:5b-9, 28
Moses then took the Tent and pitched it for himself outside the camp, at a distance from it, and called it the Tent of Meeting. Whoever sought Yahweh would go out to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. And when Moses went to the tent all the people would stand, each one at the entrance to his tent and keep looking towards Moses until he entered the tent.
Now, as soon as Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance to the tent, while Yahweh spoke with Moses.
When all the people saw the pillar of cloud at the entrance to the tent, they would arise and worship, each one at the entrance to his own tent.
Then Yahweh would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his neighbor, and then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua, son of Nun, would not leave the tent.
And Yahweh came down in a cloud and stood there with him, and Moses called on the name of Yahweh.
Then Yahweh passed in front of him and cried out, “Yahweh, Yahweh is a God full of pity and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in truth and loving-kindness. He shows loving-kindness to the thousandth generation and forgives wickedness, rebellion and sin; yet he does not leave the guilty without punishment, even punishing the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
Moses hastened to bow down to the ground and worshiped. He then said, “If you really look kindly on me, my Lord, please come and walk in our midst and even though we are a stiff-necked people, pardon our wickedness and our sin and make us yours.
Moses remained there with Yahweh forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the Covenant—the Ten Commandments.
Gospel: Mt 13:36-43
Then he sent the crowds away and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the ?eld.” Jesus answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The ?eld is the world; the good seed are the people of the kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one. The enemy who sows the weeds is the devil; the harvest is the end of time, and the workers are the angels.
Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the ?re, so will it be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the just will shine, like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear. “
In today’s gospel reading Jesus warns us that “the field is the world” and that those fighting in it are divided into two camps, “the sons of the Kingdom” and “the sons of the Evil One.”
Actually we could complete the thought of Jesus by transposing it from the level of general history to that of the individual conscience, and by saying, “the field is the human heart.” For, in reality, no human heart is totally good or totally evil. It too is sown with wheat and weeds in varying proportions, and it too is the theater of a gigantic struggle between God and Satan. These two protagonists endeavor in every way to secure our adherence to their respective Kingdoms. And each one of our moral decisions favors at one time one of these two Kingdoms, at another time the other one.
In this prodigious combat, things are not settled once and for all as long as we still have a breath of life left in us. At the last moment, the mere act of looking up to God with repentance can transform in the twinkling of an eye the barren field of our heart into a sea of beautiful stalks.
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