Missionary Weekly Reflection
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 19 July 2020
Wis. 12:13,16-19; Ps. 86:5-6,9-10,15-16a; Rom. 8:26-27; Mat. 13:24-43 (long) or Mat. 13:24-30 (short)
The first century Jewish religion was not as uniform as we often imagined. There were many groups and sects. Each group claimed themselves as the most obedient to the Law. Each sect prided themselves as the “small remnant” and the most legitimate people of God. The Qumran community banned other Jewish groups as heretical. And they seceded themselves to the desert and used different calendar. Especially the Pharisees! It is said that the very name of “Pharisee” means “secession”. They did not want to mix with other Jews, whom they considered as disobedient to the Torah. The Sadducees did not want to join the Pharisees, whom they labeled as having added the Mosaic Law with various traditions of their own interpretations.
Jesus took a different approach. He did not form a “pure and exclusive messianic” sect, but an open group, wandering and preaching, without headquarters. The “worst” of all, he mingled with everyone: men, women, pious people and sinners. His preaching about the Kingdom of God is open to all people. The seed of the Word is sown in all kinds of soil! His attitude is truly realistic: His preaching must be accepted or rejected. There are always two groups and two different reactions.
Although Jesus sows wheat, He knows that the Devil is also very active at sowing weeds. Two types of seeds that are totally different, but look the same, especially in the early growth. They only look different when they begin to grain. Therefore, uprooting the weed during early stage will be fatal, because the wheat will be pulled out too! This is the surprise of the field Owner: let the two grow together till harvest time. Of course with the risk: weed roots can damage the wheat.
The Kingdom of God was presented to this world by Jesus and His Church. Nevertheless, after more than 2000 years, evil and sin still exist in this world, even inside the Church itself. The devil is still actively defending his kingdom. There are always people who don’t believe Jesus and mislead others. Facing with them, You and I are easily tempted to secede, or isolate them. Jesus does not agree with this “pharisaic attitude”. The church is a corpus mixtum: a mixed congregation consisting of members with wheat and weed quality! Of course there is always risk of the righteous being misled by the bad. But greater danger is the arrogant righteous who try to eliminate the weak and those labeled as sinners from association or community. Nevertheless, both must be let to exist until the end of the world.
Separating and judging are not our job. God Himself will separate and punish sinners and deceivers on the final Judgment. He is the one who will repay everyone according to his/her deeds. But, during our life in this world, let us show God’s patience and compassion to others. Doesn’t He always give us hope and chance every time we ourselves fall and get lost?
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Family integrity: May the families today do not feel alone for they will always find love, appreciation and guidance that are required to keep the family united. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Human resources: In terms of increasing human resources that is declared by the government, may Catholic educational institutions find the means in preparing the students to face the challenges in millennial era. We pray…
We ask for the blessing to our people in educational sector in achieving the education of justice in every level. We pray…