The 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The new farmer in town’s parish priest stopped by one day to bless his fields which were overrun with weeds. The priest prayed, “May you and God work together to make this the farm of your dreams.” A few months later the priest came by again. He was amazed at the progress. The weeds were gone. “Amazing,” the priest exclaimed, “Look what God and you have accomplished working together!”

“Yes, Father,” the proud farmer said, “But don’t forget what the farm looked like when God was working at all by himself!”

Father Jerry says in today’s homily, “Those of you who are gardeners, I’m sure are familiar with Murphy’s first law of gardening: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull up. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant!”

Of course there is a corollary to this law to distinguish flowers from weed — simply pull up everything, and what grows back is weeds.

“Last week we dealt with the parable of the sower and we learned the different kinds of soil produce different levels of results,” says Father. “Today we are confronted with the question voiced by the farmer servants, ‘Where did the weeds come from and what do we do with them?'”

This is the same mystery that we face when we look at ourselves, our kids, our spouses, and our friends, and ask, “How can such a good people still screw up so badly?” And the short answer of course is, “It’s the human condition.” God made us good, but we’re not done yet. We’re still finding our stride and God hasn’t finished the masterpiece that he’s creating with our individual lives. “Not by a long shot,” says Father.