16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field

Matthew 13:24

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.

This is a 5 minute facilitated meditation on opening ourselves to the presence of God within, particularly in the context of our current confinement

Alternatively use this method of entering quiet:

Invite all present to sit comfortably.

When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Prayer for Healing- Eric Nordhoff

Introduce the Gospel

On this Sunday we celebrate the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Again today we have two versions of the one parable, the original and a later church interpretation or reception. Communities of faith are always “mixed,” in that some people are fully
engaged, some are half-hearted and many, perhaps most, are somewhere in between. What to do? The temptation to go for a radical, purified church has been a recurring one across history. The teaching of this parable is let things alone—it is not for us to judge. It could be (we hope!) that less committed believers may change and a welcoming, compassionate approach may enable that to happen.

Read the GospelMatthew 13:24-43
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’
He put another parable before them: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’
He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’
In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy: I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.

Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’


Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use the quietening music again if you wish

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Using some or all of the following questions, today and or on different occasions over the coming week reflect on this Gospel passage.

  1. The owner of the field who allowed the wheat and the darnel to grow together is a reminder to us to be patient with ourselves and with others when we see everything is not right. Sometimes a
    preoccupation with the negative (the darnel) can blind us to seeing the positive in our own lives and in the lives of others.
    When have you found that a willingness to live with the messiness of the present created the conditions for future growth?
  2. Have you ever found that it was through accepting the darnel that you learned important lessons for life, e.g., learning by making mistakes, or asking stupid questions, or taking foolish risks?
  3. The parables of the mustard seed and the leaven are reminders that seemingly insignificant things can have very positive results.
    Have you ever been surprised by the benefit to yourself or others of a kind gesture, a small initiative, or a word of encouragement?

Finish this part with a Prayer

O God, patient and forbearing, you alone know fully the goodness of what you have made. Strengthen our spirit when we are slow and temper our zeal when we are rash, that in your own good time you may produce in us a rich harvest from the seed you have sown and tended.
Through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


Prayer of the Faithful

In the Mass, the prayer of the faithful are the people’s response to their reflection on the Scripture readings and are spoken to God in the second person. The following have been prepared by Hugh Clifford, Kilquade Parish for our Masses on this weekend.

Begin:  We turn to You who cares for everyone. Teach us, O Lord, to walk in your Truth

For the Church…pause… Help us, O Lord, to call and work for justice in this world, not fearing controversy, but with the strength and wisdom to present a gentle and non-judgemental face to others.      Lord hear us

For ourselves …pause… Help us, Dear Jesus, to pray; to trust the Spirit within us;        guide us to seek and to do what is pleasing to the Father.     Lord hear us

For our country…pause… We pray that we, government and people, may all work together to face the many problems that we face, in housing, in health, in finance.  We pray that we will be patient and give the new government the time and the space to make a start on solving these many problems.    Lord hear us   

For the world…pause… Help us to accept that this world is a place of both good and evil in which most strive for goodness.  We pray that more young people will receive and hear the call to serve others in your Church .     Lord hear us

Along with Pope Francis we pray…pause… May the Virgin Mary, “Solace of Migrants”, help us discover the face of her Son in all our brothers and sisters forced to flee their homeland because of the many injustices that continue to afflict our world.             Lord Hear us

For our own intentions: name those intentions you specifically want to mention 
Lord hear us

For all who have died  ………. name those people you specifically want to remember 
Lord hear us

Gathering Prayer:

Jesus, your compassion to all inspires us today to recognise our own need of
your grace. Help us work on the plank in our own eyes before we dare to
recognise, much less to offer to remove, a splinter in our neighbour’s eye. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in Written or on Video


The Spirit of God is seeking to create a newness in our lives, that calls us to a fresh wholeness that requires much letting go of what we have known, and co-creating with God an undreamt-of future for our church, for our world and for ourselves. This does not mean forgetting the past, which has brought us to the present.

The Gospel life is about a new future in God. In an incarnational, evolutionary universe nothing is complete and God is still creating. We are a central part of this creation which is happening in our midst.