The Word This Week ~ 20 July 2014
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First Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
This passage has possible undercurrents of dialogue with philosophical ideas which undergirds this particular expression of faith in the God of Israel. Firstly, there is a description in legal terms – almost as a monarch who judges in fairness and in sovereignty. Yet that is not all. God is more than a fair judge, All powerful yet showing forbearance and understanding. That is a lesson to those who serve God: trust power consists in dealing with others in a manner that seeks to understand weakness and offers hope rather than fear of judgement.
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27
The dramatic language here is both consoling and challenging. It is a call to interiority and to a sense that true prayer is that sigh of the Spirit deep within us which is intercessory of its nature. While the reassurance that the Spirit within us can pray deeply when we cannot seem to find the means to do so seems consoling, this is also challenging, as this prayer will be for the transformation that we really need rather than what we might image our needs are.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 24-43
The Gospel today has a classic Jewish teaching structure of this second Temple period. Initially we have the three parables – one in story form (the darnel and the wheat) and then two straight comparisons (the mustard seed and the leaven). This is followed by a form of interpretation, which seeks to offer a particular perspective, while respecting the parables’ ability to tease meanings and to give rise to deeper reflection.
The message behind all three is that the Kingdom neither depends solely on human effort nor is it automatically and inevitably going to happen anyway. Rather the Kingdom is brought about where human effort is combined to the ongoing work of creation with common purpose and goodwill.
Published Tue 22nd Jul 2014 16:14:25