Homily Sixteenth Sunday Year A Mercy and judgment

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Homily: Sixteenth Sunday Year A

Reading 1: What is the message of this reading? God is a God of justice and power, who does not condemn nor is unjust. He is lenient and judges with mercy. In this he teaches us two things. One, God gives us hope and time to repent for our sins, before justice and judgment occur. Two, as God, who is just, he is also merciful. As his children, we are to express true justice by deeds of kindness and mercy, leaving the final judgment to God.

God has the power and the right to enact judgment after we sin and especially after we remain in sin, unrepentant. But in his unconditional mercy and love he gives us time to repent and return to him.

This was his process with his Chosen People. When they turned away from their agreed covenant with God through repetitive sin, God sent prophets to call them back to repentance. It was a time of mercy. After some time, however, he would chastise them, when he had every right to annihilate them. Again, it was a sign of his mercy for them.

This was his mode of operation, repeated often in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, the Chosen people, in spite of their sins, presumed that since they were chosen, God would always protect them. They were presumptuous and would experience the chastisement of God. But a time of mercy will end when God will judge the heart of each person.

Gospel: The main parable is another way of expressing what the first reading revealed to us. It is in Jesus’ explanation that we understand the meaning of the parable. The human reaction is to respond immediately by trying to uproot the wee. The Divine reaction is to wait until the harvest.

Even though in nature the weed will never become a grain of wheat, in God’s providence the sinner can repent and be saved. But in the end, the weeds will be separated from the wheat and cast into the furnace for burning.

St. Peter expressed the same concept of the mercy and justice of God. People asked him why was Jesus delaying in returning, as he promised. Peter said that his delay was deliberate to give us time to repent and return to him.

Some of us are like the presumptuous Chosen People. We presume that we can live both in the world of darkness and sin as well as the world of light. We think we have time to live a double life. Sin is such a habit, a way of life that we have become comfortable in it. We don’t see any rush to change our life style. There is time we convince ourselves. We fail to remember and act on the words of Jesus. You don’t know the time or day that the Lord will return.

Reading 2: Jesus and the Father sent the Spirit to us to sanctify us, so that we can live in right relationship with God and holiness of life. He also comes to mission us to extend the mercy and love of God to others, as we witness the same in our lives.

Paul gives us another reason of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He intercedes before the Father for us. Many times we do not know what to pray for or how to ask. We are reminded that we are to ask the Holy Spirit to pray for us with inexpressible groaning. As we groan within our hearts and on our lips, we believe the Spirit will ask the Father for our needs, according to the will of God for us.

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