From the Pastor’s Desk (7/20/2014)
Jul 20, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The readings for this Sunday, July 2o, 2014 present God as clement and merciful. God is patient and waiting for us to be open to the Holy Spirit so he will free us of the things that keep us enslaved.
God judges with clemency: Our first reading for this Sunday is a wise reflection on how God dealt with the Cananeans: God had been magnificent with them. God was forgiving and merciful with them to enable them the opportunity of repentance and return to Him. God is gracious not out of weakness, but fidelity to his promises. “You, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity. Turn toward me, and have pity on me; give your strength to your servant.”
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weaknesses: The nature of humans is to seek life, happiness and freedom. Humanity is filled with the illusion of creating a perfect creature. However, we have a flaw called egotism. Egotism overrides our dream and hopes, engulfing us with arrogance and pride. This individualism prevents us from connecting to each other, and does not accept God’s promise of a new man. The egotistical person does not know how to ask God and others for help. One of the main functions of the Spirit is to allow us to pray and ask for what we really need. This silence and “ineffable groan” are well heard by God.
The Kingdom of God grows in the midst of difficulties: Jesus tells us parables to tell us that he is the Kingdom. Matthew likes the phrase ‘the Kingdom of heaven’ but heaven should not be understood as the place where only God reigns. For Jesus, the Kingdom begins, grows and ends reaching its plenitude despite the obstacles. There will always be a harvest regardless of the weeds, thorns, Pharisees, and Scribes.
We have to be patient and lenient with others as God is merciful and tolerant with us. We must be aware that each one of us is the field where wheat and weed grows together; that we live amidst a community and that our decisions affect each other. Our reality has consequences. If it is true that we should not judge each other, it is even truer that we must constantly examine our field and let us be purified by the Word of God. As St. Augustine said “If you have been always good, be merciful; if one day bad, never forget it.”