16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Published on 13 Jul 2020
Grass or barley growing

The Lord is our Merciful Judge

Show favour, O Lord, to your servants

and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace,

that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity,

they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.

This Sunday we are, again, reminded of God’s central characteristic – merciful love. We are always in need of forgiveness, and the readings today assure us both of God’s mercy and compassion and the promise of assistance. The Holy Spirit is given freely, to help us in our weakness.

Today’s First Reading reaffirms that God’s mighty strength is demonstrated through fair judgement. And, because God is lenient and kind to us, we might be moved to treat others in the same way.

The Psalm continues the theme of God’s quality of mercy. God is full of compassion, abounding in love and truth. God is forgiveness.

The Gospel deals with the problem of evil. God’s kingdom is one of truth, justice and integrity, but it exists in an imperfect world. St Matthew tells us that God will be faithful to those who have tried to seek him in the midst of the reality of evil.

St Paul tells us that when we need help in this regard, the Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. When I struggle to pray for what I need, the Spirit prays for me! (Second Reading)

Let’s ask, this week, for the help of the Spirit, who prays in and for us.

May we receive what we need to cope with the evils of the world and with our own weaknesses, and may we find our strength in the loving mercy of God.

You govern us with great lenience.   First Reading

God of mercy and compassion, abounding in love and truth, turn and take pity on me.     Psalm 

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness.    Second Reading

I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themselves, and imitate the good. Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us all through His mercy escape the evil of this world.    St Augustine, Sermon no. 23 on the New Testament

This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

Wisdom 12: 13.16–19; Ps. 85 (86); Romans 8: 26–27; Matthew 13: 24–43