Tag Archives: Weeds

16th Sunday of the Year: Pulling Weeds. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 16th Sunday of the Year

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.


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Note: I couldn’t stop with just one picture!  These are taken from my dad’s garden in Cumberland, WI.

16th Sunday of the Year: Pulling weeds

Study:  Consider your life right now.  What is flourishing in your heart, and what needs to be pulled out?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for wisdom to know how to grow in grace.

Serve:  How might you be an example for another person?  How might your work to root out sin inspire someone else to grow closer to the Lord?

Mass Readings – 16th Sunday of the Year

Several powerful themes surface in the readings this week.

  • 1st Reading – The Lord is the source of justice
  • Psalm – “Lord, you are good and forgiving.”
  • 2nd Reading – The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness
  • Gospel – Jesus offers several parables; two of them are about weeds and seeds

A common pattern emerges from these themes as we discover that in the midst of injustice, sin, weakness and evil the Lord comes with justice, forgiveness, strength and power.  Simply put, God gives us grace to confront the weeds in our lives.

So that begs the question: Where are the weeds in our hearts today?  What struggle are we facing that requires the Lord’s mercy and love?  Perhaps we might step back and pause this week to reflect on the state of our soul, so that we can honestly assess what is growing and what needs to go.

Jesus Christ knows our hearts and loves us unconditionally.  As we look at the garden of our hearts may we trust that the one who knows us completely will help us root out what does not belong and help us grow as Sons and Daughters of God.


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15th Sunday of the Year: The garden of our hearts

Garden 1

Study:  What are some virtues that you would like to cultivate in your life?  What are some vices that need to be weeded out?

Pray:  Everyday provides a new opportunity for personal growth.  Ask the Lord for the strength and wisdom to grow in holiness.

Serve:  Name one little thing you can do for another; now make it happen.

Mass Readings – 15th Sunday of the Year

Since returning to the Cathedral as rector eight years ago, one thing I miss is gardening.  Time is precious, and my current work does not readily lend itself to the effort it takes to keep a garden.  Yet all things being equal, there is no other place in the summer that I would rather be than rooting around in the dirt – picking weeds, pruning, staking, watering, hoeing, and “looking at” the plants.

Gardening is a metaphor that teaches us about ministry and life.  Spending time in the garden forces us to slow down and attend to a cycle that is not our own.  We pay closer attention to the wonder and beauty of nature, and we can be surprised and  amazed by what we see.

Plants truly are hopeful optimists in a world of pessimism.  Every year flowers and vegetables produce thousands of seeds, each seed capable of new and beautiful life.  Yet for all these seeds only a few survive.  Some are taken as produce, some by the weather, and some by the rabbits!

Nature knows that life is difficult.  There are so many obstacles and challenges in the world that it is essential to cast hundreds and thousands of seeds, just so that a few might be able to continue the cycle of life.  The power of nature is that even a few seeds can change the landscape, bringing nourishment and beauty to the earth.

Jesus knew this.  He spoke to hundreds and thousands of the hope and life that are possible in His Father’s Kingdom.  He cured countless people and preached tirelessly to any who would hear.  Like the garden plants, he cast LOTS of seed.

Yet many people did not act on his message.  Many mocked him, plotted against him, or simply walked away.  Some got excited for a time, but then they got bored, discouraged, or caught up in other interests.  Simply put, much of the seed cast by Jesus was lost or destroyed.

Yet in his parable to the crowds Jesus shows his tremendous hope.  It only takes a few seeds for an incredible harvest!  A 30x, 60x, or 100x harvest was amazing in the ancient world (and it is not too shabby today!).  For those who heed the word of God, they, too, will yield a crop that will defy worldly doubt.

As the Master Gardener, the Lord continues to work in our lives.  The invitation today is that our faith will take root and flourish in our hearts.  We are given the chance to garden our souls, fostering a faith that is worthy of the Lord’s harvest.


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