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Back The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, July 19, 2020
I cannot recall the number of households that I may have heard one of the parents proclaim: “I need the patience of Job!” The book of Job is majorly composed of speeches in which Job patiently argues his innocence in the face of material and bodily affliction.
In much the same way people for generations have experienced the patience of God. This is reflected within the wisdom literature of the Bible. Our first lesson this Sixteenth Sunday in the order of time of our church shares this insight. “For your might is the source of righteousness; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all….. But, though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us…. And you gave your children reason to hope that you would allow them to repent for their sins.” (Wisdom 12:16,18,19). It appears that God is not swift to judge us, but gives us ample opportunity to discover the error of our ways and repent so as to welcome us back into His fold.
In the parable that Jesus shares as recorded in this weekend’s Gospel, the slave speaks for many of us in asking the landowner if he would like his servant to pull up the weeds that were mysteriously seeded along with the good crop of the field. Doing so would help the good seed to have more nutrients of the soil and would be more satisfying to behold instead of a field that looks neglected. But, in the parable the landowner practices patience in letting them grow together until harvest time. It would be at harvest that both would be pulled up; the weeds to destruction and the crop to storage and eventually put up for sale.
Our current situations of life make us also want to cry: “I need the patience of Job!” The frustrations of COVID19 recurrences, the ever increasing measures of caution we need to take, the struggles between our physical and economic health as a nation, and the need to address systemic issues of evil in our society all converge to make this a most frustrating time. It can be overwhelmingly a time of great despair or a time of courageous opportunity. Lord place Your patient hand upon us and give us Your strength and endurance to successfully navigate these current storms. With You at our side, all things are possible. Stay with us Lord!