16th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 23rd July, 2017
The best and holiest time of their lives
Visiting the classes in St. Vincent’s who had made their First Holy Communion I realized that these children are probably at their holiest stage of life – it is a time when the seeds of goodness, generosity, thoughtfulness and, indeed, prayerfulness can blossom. It is the time of the highest ideals – even a time when the seeds of vocation are sown.
The three Hail Marys
Teenage years bring changes. Now, I’m asking a vocations director, but not in an insolent way: “Father, ought I pray for a vocation to the priesthood if I don’t want one.” I was genuinely afraid, that if I prayed, I would be a priest and, at that time, I just wanted my freedom to live my life as I chose. One day, I thought that if I said three hail Marys each day maybe God would take my fear away. So, I said three Hail Marys, one to be good at home, one to be good at school and one to be a priest – only one of them worked!
Sowing Good Seed
Today Jesus himself gives the sermon. He is the one who sows good seed. The Devil is the one who sows the bad. The apostles were fishermen. They would simply separate good fish from bad. Jesus was a carpenter and not a farmer, and his knowledge of good and evil would have to come from his Father. So, Jesus allows the good and the bad to grow together. Today, Jesus says that there is a frightening prospect for those who “provoke offence and all who do evil.”
Our Summer Prayer
Let us pray that the good seed sown in the gardens of our hearts by Jesus may grow as virtues and that “the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
A little catechism class!
In gardening terms it is so much easier to root out the weeds when the plants have taken stronger root. Likewise in life, the stronger our virtues, the easier to root out the weeds of sin. Over the next few days why not revisit the four cardinal virtues of prudence (doing what is right according to your conscience); temperance in food and drink; fortitude (Being decisive in observing religious practice); and, justice towards others.
Fr. Michael McCullagh C.M.