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Homily For Ordinary 16 - Year A
Friar Sydney Mascarenhas. O.F.M., Ph.D


     The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
     of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
     this web site.  Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
     ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
     in Rome.  He can be reached at smascarenhas@ofm.org.  The texts
     used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
     most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.

    
READINGS: 
Wisdom 12:13.16-19; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43


INTRODUCTION: 
Jesus taught us to pray to the Father to deliver us from all
Evil. Would our world not be better off without evil?  Let us
today meditate on the reality of Evil. 


HOMILY:
Often, I have met people who ask why does God allow evil to
befall us?  Why does God, if He is an almighty Creator, allow
evil to exist?  Why does God, if He is the source of all good,
permit evil amidst us?

I have also wondered why mosquitoes were ever created?  Or, why
are there poisonous snakes on this earth?  Or, why are there
creatures like rats and lizards?  Why is there a drought in one
region and a flood in another?

As a boy, I often wondered why God created bitter gourds and why
did my father buy them?  It was only when I grew up and when I
saw diabetic patients eat them that I saw some sense in their
creation.

Why? Why?  Why?  

The fact is that we humans are not even capable of seeing the tip
of our own nose!

In the same way, I think, we are not able to understand the great
mystery of evil.

Most cultures have resolved these questions by describing life as
a constant battle between the forces of good and the forces of
evil, the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.  Even the
eclipse of the sun was seen as an impending victory of Evil over 
Good.

Well, I also think, that we mostly see things as black or white.
We always see contrasts.  We imagine conflicts everywhere. We
suspect a complex in every gesture.  All human action is tinged
by the sexual libido.  Society is a class struggle.  Economy is
the work of the free market.  Law is the will of the powerful.
And so today's readings come as a big surprise.
In the readings of today we hear that our Sovereign God accepts
repentance.  His Spirit comes to our aid in our weakenesses.  It
is He who says: "Let the seed and the darnel grow together till
the harvest time".

In other words, God awaits the repentant sinner.  God gives
strength to those who acknowledge their weakness.  God calmly
recognizes that there is evil in the world, but evil is no reason
to sound the alarm.  Evil, God knows, cannot stop Good.  God is
supreme.

But there is even more of realism in today's gospel. 

There is an enemy who plants darnel.  But if it sprouts amidst
the good seed, we need not get alarmed.  We only need to be extra
careful about the good seed.  But our care for the good seed
should not make us take drastic steps to uproot the darnel.  We
must not in anyway do anything that might harm the growth of the
good seed.  The darnel does not stop the good seed from bearing
fruit.

In other words, in the midst of evil, which is a fact, we need to
care even more for the good.

Gold is found amidst much dust.  This fact makes it very
precious!  

Good, when done despite much Evil, is nobler!  Shalom!

   
copyright - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and  Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 1999, 2002
          please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.


For Another Look At The RCL Texts for This Sunday see
Sermon and Liturgy for Ordinary 16 - Year A
Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, B.A., M.Div.


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