Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 23, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we are reminded that God’s Word dwells in us and will bear fruit according to our “welcome” – that is, to the degree that we nourish it.
Humbly welcome the word
that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
Our readings ask and answer the question “Where does God’s Word dwell?”.
- In the compassionate heart.
- In the mutuality of sincere community.
- In reverence for all Creation.
And there are conditions for that indwelling. Jeremiah defines them clearly:
Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds;
if each of you deals justly with the neighbor;
if you no longer oppress the resident alien,
the orphan, and the widow;
if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place,
or follow strange gods to your own harm,
will I remain with you in this place,
in the land I gave your forbears long ago and forever.
Jesus tells us that our desire to meet such conditions will be tested by a selfish and sinful culture, like the good wheat which struggles to thrive amidst the weeds.
He says that only at the harvest will the crop’s value be affirmed, indicating that we must be patient, persevering and steadfast even in the moral confusions of our world.
“Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?”
He answered, “An enemy has done this.”
His slaves said to him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”
He replied, “No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
Psalm 84 beautifully captures our longing to be this kind of dwelling place for God. You might wish to pray with the following interpretation of this psalm.
Poetry: Psalm 84 – Ease by Christine Robinson
The sparrow has a place in the rafters. The swallow raises her young in the nest she has made. They live and move easily in their places. They flit and soar around Your world altar. They are home. It is not so easy for me. I long for that ease of being and pray for the grace to live in the world as at Your altar. Happy are they who live in the Pilgrim way; They walk through desolate landscapes and find your springs. They toil through mountains and discover your peaks. They set themselves to the tasks of love and service and know deep satisfaction One day lived in this grace is better than a thousand spent at our own devices. When we walk our appointed path in peace, We find our home and our way.
Music: How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place – Jesuit Music Ministry