Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time: July 20, 2014
How many want to know if the Holy Scripture is still relevant to our world to day in 2014? Let’s examine today’s scripture readings.
Wait! Thousands of Rockets have been fired into Israel targeting civilians, women and children. These rockets are being fired from tunnels near schools. Israel has begun a ground invasion into Gaza where rockets are being found stored in schools and in numerous tunnels.. Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down by a missal over Ukraine. 298 are reported dead, men, women, children and infants. Among them are 24 Americans. Thousands of Central American children are crossing our southern boarder with Mexico. Our federal government is shipping these children to various States across the country without informing the recipient states.
Abortion / Healing Necessary:
Two weeks ago I attended a retreat for women who have had abortions. These women where dealing with real anger, shame, frustration and abandonment because of the pressure within our culture to end “It” and move on with life. “Its no beg deal – It’s a woman’s right to choose and she alone can make that choice. “It” and “alone” does not begin to satisfy ones inner spirit of peace and truth.
Today’s scripture seeks to open our eyes and ears to what the secular progressive humanism world does not want us to know – the truth.
From antiquity the book of Wisdom speaks to us. For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. That those who are just must be kind; and you gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins. Tears are made of water that can wash us clean.
And when the complexity of the modern world begins to strain our spirits and distress our souls we listen to Paul speaking to the Romans. The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groaning. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the groaning Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.
Time to Groan!
I don’t know about you but it is time for me to Groan – for I haven’t a clue how to pray for a solution to the mess humanity is creating for it self.
All of the above is reinforced with the Truth Jesus Christ taught through the parable about the Weeds and the Wheat. By the master’s design the weeds and the wheat will grow up together until harvest. Think of it this way. You and your children were born to encounter the world we live in today. There is hope, there is always hope. There is never a day that does not contain the spirit of hope.
We walk by faith not by sight – our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death seem to contradict the good news.- they can shake our faith to its foundation and become a temptation against it. The spirit intercedes over and above our own pain and intercessions with ineffable groaning. Words we cannot express as we wait for the final removal of the chaos that surrounds us and the restoration to wholeness and integrity.
Kingdom of Heaven – a mustard seed:
Listen again to the words of hope. “The kingdom of heaven – yes the Kingdom in 2014 – is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.” The smallest of seeds – hope – becomes a secure home in the midst of a chaotic world.
Yeast Too – worked until flexible:!
The kingdom of heaven is like Yeast that is used to make bread – Yeast is alive. It is a microscopic fungus that is brought back to life when water is added and it is mixed with three measures of flour to make dough. It must be kneaded, a process of being pressed and stretched with the heal of the hand, folded over, rotated and then repeated again and again. This is work and what is required until the dough becomes elastic and smooth.
The natural tension within the unity of the whole church. Weeds left unchecked can choke the wheat. So they must be kept under control even if not eliminated.
Water, kneading, stretching to restore flexible hearts that open:
We, you and I each have a spirit dwelling deep within, yeast that is very much alive although some yeast has dried out. All of us require the addition of water and kneading to restore within us sufficient elasticity we open our hearts and allow the Holy spirit to dampen our dry spirit and smooth out our rough edges.
The human church needs constant reformation and positive action to continue the quest to achieve individual and community holiness. Yet we must avoid unrealistic purism or anglicism. This is the elusive but needed balance. A single parable cannot say everything. The kingdom is a mixed body; patience is necessary and we must trust the sifting to God.