16th Friday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 3: 14-17; Matthew 13:18-23
We heard the prophet Jeremiah declare God’s readiness to pardon the sins of his people. This promise will find its fulfillment in the life, death and resurrection of His Beloved Son. All who whole-heartedly repent of their sins will find abundant forgiveness flowing from the heart of Christ. Because God sees and loves in us what he sees and loves in His Son, he will graciously guide us back to our heavenly homeland. Like the prodigal son, we need to come to our senses and recognize how far from home we have wandered (CF. Lk. 15:17). Only when we cooperate with the grace of God and come to ourselves can we hope to repent of our sins. God allows us to hunger and thirst for divine love. In that hunger, God awakes in us a longing for the Father’s embrace. In that embrace our hearts become the seedbed wherein the seed of God’s word can take root and produce fruit.
The experience the Father’s boundless love is a great blessing. It allows us to acknowledge our sins, admit that we are lost and start making the journey home. Under God’s loving gaze, the repentant sinner can turn away from bondage to sin and regain the freedom and dignity that was his. Christ who was rich became poor so that he could make us who are poor rich in grace. He who stripped Himself of the grandeur that was His as God clothed us in the robe of righteousness. What a joy it is to experience the gracious mercy of God! The gifts we have will continue to bear fruit as we use them for the greater glory of God and for the service of the Body of Christ. We are called to allow our lives to become the parables whereby the people we meet can ponder God’s Word. By allowing the Word to take flesh in us, we can allow God to sow the Word where He will. We have no control over where the Message will fall, or if it will bear fruit. The Sower is God, He provides the Seed of the Word, and He provides the rain that brings for the growth. Our task is to place ourselves in His out-stretched hand and to allow Him to do with us as He wills.