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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matt. 13: 24-43

The Gospel this week is certainly one of the most profound sections in all literature, and it’s taken me my whole life to figure out a smidge of what it means to say. I’ve just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Talking to Strangers, and it seems perfectly matched with this parable about the weeds growing up with the wheat.

It’s shattering to hear—I’m listening to the audio book—-the fatal repercussions of strangers thinking that they are communicating, but their genders and their ethnic backgrounds are screaming a different message into their heads. Men and women process experiences differently (especially when alcohol is involved). What seems a consensual sexual encounter to him is processed as rape by her.

When Bernie Madoff took millions from his wife’s parents, they looked at his wise, authoritative demeanor and thought, “Aren’t we lucky to have such a smart mensch in the family?” We can only imagine what he was thinking. Was it something like, “I hope they die before they figure out that this is a huge Ponzi scheme”? I guess a true sociopath is more like pesticide than weed.

Wheat and weeds grow alongside each other in every part of life, and in every corner of our own hearts. We try hard to do right by others, but our efforts are often thwarted by the inability to truly see our own behaviors that stand in the way. Add to that the problems of communication between people of different genders and backgrounds, as well as the weeds of self-deception that clog our ability to see our own part in disputes.

Hmm. What weeds are choking away at my good intentions? I’m got some pruning to do.

What weeding will I do in order to improve my vision of my part in problems that arise?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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