Home » General » Reflection on the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection on the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on July 23, 2023, by Elisa Rodriguez SL

Today’s Gospel is very complete because Jesus explains it quite well when the disciples ask Him to explain the parable to them.  However, as we read it in our own time, we wonder if we have what it takes to gather and dispose of our weeds.  

  We are working hard to get rid of them, but their roots are deep, strong and unyielding.  We grow weary and exhausted and contemplate giving up.  In fact, some have publicly proclaimed, “Things will never charge, so why work so hard, if things won’t change anyway?” 

This last statement reminds me very much of last Sunday’s Gospel. Maybe our weariness comes from our failure to understand what Jesus tells us in the parable for this Sunday about His Father’s way of doing things: “Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest, I will tell the harvesters, ‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning and then gather the wheat into my barn.‘“ 

I don’t know how long the growing season is for wheat, but if it is like other grains like corn or other crops I am familiar with, a month or two maybe longer?  We work in many different ways to make God’s kingdom on Earth a reality.  The weeds are many, and so we cry to our God for help.  We know that our help is very much within our reach, but some of us are in too much of a hurry to wait for answers.  I am one of those.   

Perhaps I want fast answers because I do not understand how it is that God deals with human beings. Our first reading from the Book of Wisdom gives us a hint into who God is and how God deals with us. The following is a summary of the reading: 

  • God is powerful and cares for all. God’s might is the source of justice and though God is master, God judges with clemency and lenience. God teaches us by example that when we judge, we must do so with kindness.
  • If God is like this with us sinners, God gives us the grace to be kind and compassionate with the evil weeds.
  • Our task is to be the harvesters who go to the fields singing the harvest song and as a community, join our prayers with all who work to bring about the harvest, not with anguish, but with the joy of success.

Let us bring to our Eucharistic Table our gratitude for the many opportunities we have to clear the wheat field from the weeds.

Elisa Rodriguez SL

Elisa Rodriguez SL

A longtime educator, Elisa served for many years in Texas, in particular in San Antonio, where she worked for the San Antonio Archdiocese as director of the Office of Hispanic Affairs and Archdiocese co-director, and in El Paso, where she taught school and served as co-vicar for women religious for the El Paso Diocese, director of spirituality programming for Loretto’s El Convento and as administrator and chaplain at Nazareth Hall Nursing Center. She also served for many years as a member of Loretto’s Executive Committee. Elisa now resides at Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky., serving the Community there.