Kindness, mercy and acceptance are the way of God

07-23-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

When we hear or read this section from the Book of Wisdom, it is very obvious to anyone that God's supremacy is clear. Simply put, God is all-knowing, just, and powerful. As a result of this omniscient God, all of our hearts, thoughts, and actions are clear to God before we even know them. Note that even with incomprehensible power, God is patient. The words of Wisdom show us how God tempers justice with mercy and how God's actions teach us to be patient, fair, and hopeful. This passage of the Book of Wisdom offers some great wisdom to all of us.

In his letter, Paul encouraged the Romans to be patient through the trials of this life. The anxiety and worry we have usually is really not worth the effort when compared to the glory God has in store for each one of us. We need to recognize and value that we are saved in the hope of what is unseen, and thus we need to be patient in order to receive God's promise of heaven. It is ever so true that when we lack patience, the Spirit helps us and gives us the hear to hope, wait, and pray.

Jesus tells a parable about wheat and weeds in this wonderful passage from the Gospel of Matthew. The story line is that after planting good sees of wheat, an enemy came along to the field and spread weed seeds. When the plants came up out of the soil, the workers were shocked and upset to see so many weeds and wanted to pull them out right away. The owner, however, encouraged the workers to be patient - to let plant and weeds grow together until the harvest time. Then with whatever weeds were left, the workers were to bundle and burn.

All three readings today challenge us to be patient. That's a shockingly tall order for us for a culture immersed in satellite dishes, smart phones, fiber optic high speed internet and also Bing, Google and other search engines which yield way too much information in less than a second. Often we are in such a hurry that we don't take the time to look at all the aspects of a situation, we do not know how to sort in priority all the data we receive. Our "high speed" causes us to judge quickly and act rashly with many unforeseen consequences. We may judge other people, or judge a case, coming to the conclusion that it does not warrant our time. This often is a serious error of consequence. Patience, however, gives us time to do God's work among the wheat and the weeds. We are not to judge the weeds as evil and lost causes. We are, as witnessed by scripture story's example, to wait patiently and lovingly for the final judgement that belongs to God alone. Today, in our time and American culture, we see things only as dark or light. Kindness, mercy and acceptance are the way of God Are we not called to follow the Way of our God?