Homily for July 20, 2014: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. Jim Miller

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 20, 2014

Reading 1 Wis 12:13, 16-19

Responsorial Psalm Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

R/ (5a) Lord, you are good and forgiving.

Reading 2 Rom 8:26-27

Gospel Mt 13:24-43

Click here to LISTEN to this week's homily.


Age can kind of sneak up on us.   When  Archbishop Jackels became our new Archbishop it was the first time the Archbishop was younger than me!!   When I came to Nativity following Fr. Scott Bullock it was the first time in one of my moves that I was older than the previous pastor!!   Although I still have a young spirit within me by body does not want to cooperate in all that I ask of it.

I see a young spirit in Pope Francis who certainly calls us to be a church of mercy which fits with the readings of this weekend.  In the reading from the book of Wisdom addresses God and says, “But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us.”  Psalm 86 states, “You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.”  St. Paul in the letter to the Romans states” The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness”.   The gospel suggests God’s patience and gives us the opportunity to repent before we die.   I heard about a man who said he was not going to go to church but he planned to repent and rely on God’s mercy before he died.   I would not want to take that chance but prefer to walk with the Lord today and  build a relationship each day.

It is interesting to reflect on the parable of the weeds and the wheat.   We can all probably think of some people as wheat and some as weeds and wonder why the weeds seem to be doing so well.   I think God gives the weeds opportunities to become wheat throughout their lifetime on earth.  Of course sometimes through our sinfulness it is difficult to see much difference between ourselves and the weeds.   The real difference can be seen when we acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our sins and strive not to sin again.   We are blessed with the sacrament of Reconciliation to help us make changes in our lives—It is kind of like golf—on each hole we start fresh with an opportunity to make par or better—after reconciliation the slate is wiped clean and we begin again striving to live according to God’s Will.

The mustard seed calls us to be all that we can be.   From a small seed grows a large bush.   From small beginnings God can do great things with us as we say yes to God in our lives.

Three measures of wheat flour is about 50 pounds that the yeast had to ferment to turn into enough bread to feed a village.   Great things can happen from small additions but its full meaning expands and rises in novel ways when we take it in context.   Jesus uses the image of a woman preparing to bake bread as a sign of the kingdom.   We need only thing of our own mothers, grandmothers and sisters to be reminded of how they continue to build the kingdom today.