for the sixteenth Sunday of the Year
Wis 12:13 & 16-19 - Rom 8:26-27 - Mt 13:24-30
by Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
The wise Power of God
Wis 12:13 & 16-19
Wis 12:13, For neither is there any god besides thee, whose care is for all men, to whom thou shouldst prove that thou hast not judged unjustly... 16, For thy strength is the source of righteousness, and thy sovereignty over all causes thee to spare all. 17, For thou dost show thy strength when men doubt the completeness of thy power, and dost rebuke any insolence among those who know it. 18, Thou who art sovereign in strength dost judge with mildness, and with great forbearance thou dost govern us; for thou hast power to act whenever thou dost choose. 19, Through such works thou has taught thy people that the righteous man must be kind, and thou hast filled thy sons with good hope, because thou givest repentance for sins.
God, our God, is unique. He is perfect and he lacks nothing. He depends on no being other than himself. When He makes a decision, it is a just one, it is a perfect one. As the author of the Book of Wisdom says, addressing God himself: "For neither is there any god besides thee, whose care is for all men, to whom thou shouldst prove that thou hast not judged unjustly." (Wis 12:13) God is perfectly wise in all that he says and does. Even though God is omnipotent, He remains wise and it is with wisdom that He uses his omnipotence.
How marvelous! A God like our God! Are we not uniquely fortunate to be Christians? Is it not marvelous to believe in such a God? Let us say again our act of faith: My God, I firmly believe all the truths that you have revealed, and which you teach us through your Church; because you can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Indeed, God cannot deceive or be deceived! When He decides to make use of his omnipotence, He is right. When He decides to not use his omnipotence, He is still right. It all depends on the circumstances. Sometimes the time has not yet come: we must wait. When we pray to the Lord, asking him to help us overcome such-and-such an obstacle, such as a sickness, for example, sometimes the Lord makes us wait, perhaps for a long time... For we pray in a human manner, according to our nearsightedness. But the Lord, encompassing with his gaze all of eternity and the multitudes of people, makes the right decision at the opportune moment.
Rom 8:26, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. 27, And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
As we began the "Year of Saint Paul", I recommend that you read commentaries on several passages from the epistles of Saint Paul that were written and published on my site in 1998 and 1999. These consist of 22 pages on passages in which Saint Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit, and 7 pages on passages in which Saint Paul speaks of the Father:
The passage that constitutes today's epistle was commented on in page no. 8, dated March 21, 1998.
"The Spirit helps us in our weakness." Surely the Holy Spirit prays to the Father with us when we pray to him with confidence. If the Holy Spirit prays with us, it is because only he, as God, knows exactly what we need at that precise instant. It is absolutely useless for God to give us such-and-such a thing immediately, when the hour has not yet come. God does things in his own time, even if sometimes the Most Blessed Virgin Mary jostles, apparently, God's plans: "When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, «They have no wine.» And Jesus said to her, «O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.» His mother said to the servants, «Do whatever he tells you.»" (Jn 2:3-5) In fact, God's plans were not modified at the wedding at Cana: they were discerned by Mary, in her own way, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit...
Mt 13:24, Another parable he put before them, saying, «The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25, but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26, So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27, And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' 28, He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 29, But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30, Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'»
I used here the short form of this Sunday's gospel. The long form also contains verses 31-43 of chapter 13 of Saint Matthew. It is in this long form that we find Jesus' explanation of the parable of the weeds and the good seed:
Mt 13:37, He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; 38, the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40, Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41, The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. 43, Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
With this parable, Jesus shows us God's patience. We would like it if there were no weeds in the field of the Church and of the world. But that will be true only at the end of the world, not before. We need patience, just like God. Let us be indulgent and merciful: those who do evil in the world and in the Church still have a little time to repent and convert...
Let us pray to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, that she might teach us to be patient and merciful!