16th Sunday in Ordinary Time A 

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Like with last week’s Gospel, Jesus is again using parables to teach His disciples. Throughout the centuries wise, and not so wise people have used stories to both get our attention and to teach us something. No doubt many of us have done the same thing more than once! 
 
It is interesting to reflect on the part of the Gospel where the servants are ready at once to get rid of the darnel as soon as it appears, whereas Jesus says ‘no’, because of the danger to the wheat. They must allow both to grow together. When I worked in school, we often separated ‘naughty’ children from the rest, however briefly. Jesus here seems to me to be saying that life is about good and bad being together – even in the one person at different times (as we all know!). sometimes it was easier to catch some being naughty than it was others – they were just noisier or just more honest! Quite often I felt that, in a way, they were more honest because what you saw was what you got. 
 
We also have to watch out, because we are human, for the danger of two things – judging people and getting it wrong. Both are realities in our lives. Many times we don’t see the whole picture or know the background or other circumstances. Society today is so very quick to judge and we must not follow the trend. We judge people by our standards, perhaps, rather than by God’s standards. Jesus was always ready to give someone another chance. Are we ready to do the same? The darnel is not going to change into wheat if it is left but it will cause less harm if left to grow. 
 
Again and again Jesus shows patience towards those we and society judge to be wrong. He tells us that this is how we must be with others, Indeed, every time we pray the ‘Our Father’ we ask god to ‘forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Do we really believe that, accept that, want that to happen for real? 
I know I have had more than one second chance in my life and I know I wouldn’t be here today living the life I lead if I hadn’t. Maybe you have had a similar experience. We must ensure that we give others a second chance and even a third or fourth chance if necessary. We can’t and don’t know all there is about everyone we meet so let’s not judge them, let’s not see if they fit into our code of behavior. Let’s leave that to God and in the meantime let’s just love them. 
 
Sr. Margaret Mattison