XVI SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
wisdom 12:13, 16-19; romans 8:26-27; matthew 13:24-43 or 13:24-30
a bishop was sailing on a transatlantic ocean-liner. when he went aboard, he found that he was sharing a cabin with another passenger. after he unpacked his bags, he went to the purser to inquire if he could leave his valuables in the ship’s safe. he explained that he was afraid that his co-passenger might not be trustworthy. the purser smiled, accepted the valuables, and remarked: «bishop, i’ll be very glad to keep your valuables in safe custody. the other man has just been up here and left his valuables for the same reason!»
jumping to conclusions is an exercise most of us get! we are quick to judge; we are intolerant and want to do away with wrong-doers… all without knowing circumstances/ facts/ motives.
this sunday’s liturgy strongly challenges these attitudes.
the first reading asserts that GOD is patient and merciful even with sinners; he gives people time to change. he asks his people to act with patience and tolerance towards one another, even their enemies.
the psalmist describes GOD as a GOD of mercy and compassion, who is slow to anger!
GOD’s patience with imperfection appears also in the gospel in the parable of the wheat and the darnel: the workers want to uproot the weeds. but the owner knows that wheat and darnel look identical to one another… until they ripen! and so he cautions the workers: «wait till all the facts are in; don’t jump to conclusions! else you might uproot wheat.»
today’s readings counsel patience… in the face of our failures; amid our urge to fix things; in the face of our tendency to judge others and to act on those judgments.
in which areas do i need to be patient with myself? with whom do i need to be patient?
GOD is patient with us. let us be patient with ourselves, with others, with the world! let us stop jumping to conclusions.