Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr N. Vilakati

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Growth and transformation from within adversities is our Call.

Many of us grow within confines of society, either with a family, a village or those from urban areas, towns. Sometimes we are aware that those within ourselves are not intending to do good for you, personally. Yet as Christians we are called to be jolly, smiley and adopt the African adage that the rise of an individual from a village is the development of a nation. But lo and behold, that is not always the case. There are moments of travesties, challenges, sorely because we grow within weed. But a malicious weed-sowing can tell us something about the nature of the kingdom of God as seen in Matthew 13:25. Here Jesus uses a common everyday example of the time, like that of planting, harvesting, and sorting the good fruit from the bad. Weeds can spoil and even kill a good harvest if they are not separated and destroyed at the proper time. Uprooting them too early, though, can destroy the good plants in the process.

It seems then we need to let God take deep root in our hearts from our genesis, when we get baptised. We need as nature teaches us to be patient with challenges. Jesus depicts too, God’s patience on that which He has planted on our soul when we chose to be baptised and entered into the Church. When we get baptised, sin does not diminish or go away, but it comes closer and closer for it also looks for that which is good in us. And so we are taught to guard the seed of his word which he has planted in our hearts and to beware of the destructive force of sin and evil that can destroy it. This Sunday, we are once more being affirmed that God’s word brings life, but Satan seeks to destroy the good seed which has been planted in our hearts just because we have embraced and heard God’s word. And so God’s judgement is not hasty, but it does come. And in the end, God will reward each one of us according to what we have sown and reaped in this life. On that day God will separate the evil from the good. Just because there are adversaries against you, please don’t relent. Allow God’s word to take deep root in your heart and the weed around you will fade.

And so it would be great if we were to allow ourselves to grow and transform within, despite the adversities we encounter. I believe you are like that mustard seeds and leaven that teach us about the kingdom of God. Like that tiny mustard seed “entangled” with challenges, you will grow to be a tree and attract numerous birds because you will be loved because of your produce. God’s kingdom works in a similar fashion, for you are from the smallest beginnings when the hearts of your parents or guardians received God’s word and made a concerted effort to ensure you become a member of a family, the Church. Pray for them for their work seemed to be unseen and has caused some transformation.

Indeed this transformation from within travesties, can only happen through the work of the Holy Spirit, the engine of all transformers. It is powerful agent of change. To attain the kingdom of God is to receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says as seen in 2 Corinthians 4:7, gives us a view that: “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us”. Despite your challenges, those adversities you encounter, I exhort you this Sunday, please believe in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

As already stated, good and evil are sown in us, deep in our hearts like tiny seeds which germinate, and in due time yield a harvest of good or bad fruit. Please within that heart of yours, sow a good habit and you reap a character. By that character, you will reap a destiny. In the day of judgement I promise you, you will reap good sunshine that will shine in the kingdom of the Father. You will radiate with the beauty, joy, and fullness of God’s love. Just allow the love of Christ to rule in your heart and in your actions this Sunday. Let us pray with you: “Lord Jesus, let your word take root in my heart and may your all-consuming love transform my life that I may sow what is good, worthy, and pleasing to you despite so many adversities in my life.”