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Fr. Brett Williams is pastor of St Joseph in Morningside, Durban (South Africa).

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Small people in small places taking small steps will eventually change the earth

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EXCERPT – The Coronavirus has shattered that feeling of security for many of us. Unrest about racial injustice, refugee camps at the borders of Europe, revelations of sexual abuse, especially within the church, have done the same over the past months and years…

And even though I find it hard to come to terms with that uncertainty, I also see those who help each other in the face of a devastating pandemic. I see those who protest against systems of racism and oppression, because they believe we can do better. I see people working against climate change who want to secure a hope for the future. I see survivors of abuse finding the courage to speak out, and others who support them. I see people looking for ways to help those trying to cross the Mediterranean sea and those in refugee camps. And so I cling to this unlikely hope: the hope that many small people in many small places who take many small steps will eventually change the face of the earth.

CATHOLIC WOMEN PREACH

INTRODUCTION TO THE READINGS

Introduction to 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time readings

INTRODUCTION — Today we are presented more insights about God, the kingdom of heaven, and what is expected of us. The overwhelming message is that God is all about power, justice, lenience, kindness and most of all, love. We are offered endless opportunities to hear and respond to God, but nothing matches God’s efforts to claim us. God chooses us, sends help on our behalf, and invites us into a reign of love and peace beyond all measure.

PENITENTIAL ACT

Lord Jesus, you tell us the meaning of the kingdom of heaven: Lord, have mercy. Christ Jesus, you promise that the righteous will shine like the sun: Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you invite us to hear your word and enter into God’s reign of love: Lord, have mercy.

NCR SUNDAY RESOURCESJoan DeMerchant

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Pulling Weeds

Catholic Inspiration by Fr. Andrew Ricci

Every gardener encounters weeds, and the Lord uses this image in the Gospel of Matthew to remind us that in the garden of our hearts we have a daily opportunity to pull out what does not belong. (2017)

Word on Fire Sermons by Bishop Barron
Be with the Word by Dr. Gerry and Dr. Peter
The Road to Emmaus by Scott Hahn

THIS WEEK’S REFLECTIONS

Bumblebees and wheat

EXCERPT –It is all too easy for all of us to center on what is wrong, to focus on the weeds. We can easily say, here are the things that are wrong about my parents, or here are the things I want to change about my children. We can all point out the flaws in our marriage and the people who drive us crazy at work. We can come up with a list of the injustices in our world or the imperfections in our church. We are always aware of the burdens which we carry, the sickness, and the grief that we must bear. All of these things are real. They are the weeds of our life. We must recognize them and confront them. But if the only thing we focus on is the weeds, we become like that helpless bumblebee in the glass, aware of our predicament but unable to find a way out. This is why we must do what the bumblebee cannot do. We must look up! We must see the wheat among the weeds. We must recognize the goodness and grace in the circumstances around us.

BUILDING ON THE WORDFr. George Sigma


How the parable of the weeds compels us to fight for justice

EXCERPT — While the parable of the weeds looks forward to a final judgment day, it has implications for how we build up the kingdom in our present circumstances. As we work toward a society in which all people are treated with dignity and respect, we will have to contend with the weeds that choke justice, literally and figuratively. This parable can be misused to justify complacency as the weeds and wheat grow together until final harvest. But telling people who are presently suffering victimization to wait for a future reckoning only does further harm and fails to promote God’s kingdom. God’s eschatological justice cannot be an excuse for inaction, comfortable ignorance or outright denial of the need for change.

AMERICA MAGAZINEJamie Waters


Excluding people from Church

EXCERPT – In a parish, no priest or pastoral worker, no religious education teacher, no parish secretary has the power to exclude anyone from the fellowship of the Church. Sometimes, in the expression of our disapproval for certain behaviors, we end up alienating people from the Church. We have made it difficult for divorced Catholics to feel welcome in the community of faith, especially if they have remarried outside the Church. Sometimes, the poor feel out of place in our Sunday assemblies where the upwardly mobile parade around in the latest fashions. Or, are we too “educated” these days for the average person to feel at home at our liturgies?.

ECHOING GOD’S WORDRev. Clement D. Thimbodeau (1932-2017)

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