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Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jer. 14:17-22 & Mt. 13:36-43

When disasters occur we often look for someone to blame. It's the government's fault. It's our neighbour's fault. It's God's fault. It happened, too, in the time of Jeremiah when, apparently, Judah was suffering from war and drought.

Some people looked around for others to blame for the calamity, indignant that in their innocence they had to suffer. Still others believed that they had better find someone other than God to help them, but not Jeremiah who tells us how we should react in times of adversity.

In time of trouble Jeremiah's first thought was to turn to God. It is true that he questioned God as to why such terrible things were happening. But he believed that God is in charge. Secondly, he admitted that he and the people were far from perfect. He prayed, "We have sinned against you." He did not pretend to be the innocent person who is treated unjustly. Finally, he recognised that God alone is the source of hope as he cried out, "It is you Lord, O our God. You are our hope."

In the Gospel today the disciples asked Jesus to explain to them the parable about the bad seed that was sown into the field of good seed. This parable tells us that God is watching us. The difference between good and evil is not lost - for God knows the struggles we have to live godly lives in this world that is often so impregnated with evil. He assures us that He sees the good that is done and will give recompense for it. We should strive to live each day, knowing that we are seen by God, to try consistently to sow goodness in our lives.

When sometimes it seems as if evil can triumph in the world, we need to recognize that God has the last say over evil. He mysteriously allows evil to exist so that good can become purified. There will be a moment when evil will be judged and will no longer have power over our lives. If we sew goodness in our life and live in God's grace, He will free us from the domain of evil forever. Let us build up our confidence in the coming of His kingdom, using the struggle against evil as a way to show the sincerity of our love.

The assurance of Christ that there will be final judgement should give Christians joy in living their lives. We know our efforts are not in vain. We realise that this life is the short opportunity the Father gives us to know Him, love Him and serve Him in preparation for our eternal destiny. When we are tempted to be discouraged in the fight, we must remember that the struggles will soon be over, and God will more than recompense us if the sacrifices we have made were in following His will and promoting goodness in the world.

Lord Jesus, help us to renew our trust in the triumph of Your holiness, in our lives. When we feel the pull of evil in our hearts, let us remember that this life is short and that our struggle is precious in Your eyes. Help us to focus our heart, our mind and our soul on the happiness You are preparing for us.

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