07-19-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

In our first reading this weekend we learn that God is truly supreme in all ways. This passage from the Book of Wisdom tells us that God is all-knowing, just, and powerful. Indeed we may not realize it, but even our hearts, thoughts, and actions are clear to God, in fact even before we know them. In contrast to his awesome and incomprehensible power, we learn that God is patient. The words of Wisdom illustrate for us how God tempers justice with mercy and also how God’s actions teach us to be patient, fair, and hopeful.

We find in our second reading that Saint Paul encouraged the Romans to have patience in dealing with the trials of this life. The “worrying” is not worth the effort when we think about the glory God has in store for us. Paul tells us that we are saved in the hope of what is unseen and also that we need to be patient to receive God’s promise of heaven. Bear in mind that even when we lack patience, the Spirit helps us and gives us the heart to hope, wait, and pray.

In our Gospel selection today, Jesus tells a parable about wheat and weeds. We hear that after good seeds of wheat were planted, an enemy came along to the field and spread weeds. Then when the plants popped up through the soil, the workers were upset to see so many weeds and wanted to pull them out. We then hear that the owner encouraged the workers to be patient—to let the weeds and plants grow together until the harvest. And finally, with whatever weeds were left, the workers were to bundle and burn them.

All of our readings this weekend challenge us to be patient. We know from our own lives that this is a tall order for a culture and people immersed in smartphones, devices, high-speed Internet, all sorts of social media platforms, all types of app, and the ultimate in the business world: “data analysis and manipulation.” Sadly it is true that we often are in such a hurry that we do not take the time to look at all the aspects of a situation. Our intense speed causes us to judge quickly and to judge only on surface matters. We can reach a fast decision that a person or a situation does not deserve. The constantly forgotten virtue of patience, however, gives us the time to do God’s work among the wheat and the weeds. Rather than “delete” the weeds as evil and lost causes, we may be shown by God’s example to wait patiently and lovingly for the final judgment that belongs to God alone. We may be “smart, educated, and sophisticated,” but if we do not have the patience of God to see more deeply, then we will miss much of the good of people and our lives.