By Fr. Andrew Kelly
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME —JULY 20, 2014
A commentator, John P. Meier, suggests a lesson from Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 13:24-43) is: “…it is the community’s part to preach repentance and practice patience.”
Symbolically the good seed sowed is Jesus’ message of repentance and conversion. The transforming seed takes root in the community’s soul unfortunately along with the weeds.
The community is tempted like the householder’s slaves to get rid of the weeds just as the community wants to get rid of the deadweight non-devout slackers.
But the wisdom of the household’s master applies both to the slaves and the community. “Be patient! Be patient! Be patient! In your hurry for a perfect field and a perfect community you may end up uprooting the good with the bad and end up with nothing.”
In other words the community is to stick to preaching Gospel repentance and conversion and let God take care of the judging, cleansing and pruning that may need to be done.
If God can be that patient with the conversion transformation process, why cannot the community? God’s patience becomes the model for the community’s patience. The master of the household has the wisdom divinely correct: “Be patient! Be patient! Be patient! God is in control.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)