Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings

WIS 12:13, 16-19
ROM 8:26-27
MT 13:24-43

Reflection

How much faith does one actually need to gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven?

This is a question that I have thought about many times and fortunately, the readings for today shed some light on a possible answer. Reflecting on these readings, I am reminded of the song “Even If” by MercyMe. The whole song is a testament to the ups and downs of life, how important faith is and how forgiving our savior, Jesus Christ truly is. There are moments that seem to require more faith than I poses and there are other moments where life is going really well and faith is the last thing that I think I need. There are a few lines in the song that read, “They say it only takes a little faith to move a mountain. Well good thing a little faith is all I have, right now.” I have felt many times, that I am not strong enough to face the various struggles that are presented before me. However, it is through these struggles that I come to realize how strong I am with God by my side.

The song “Even If” pairs nicely with this week’s readings, offering hope where often it can feel like there is none. I would encourage all of you to take the time to listen to it.

The first line of today’s first reading makes it clear that our God is one who always, no matter the time or place, has our best interests in mind. When we submit to his desire for us, we are often surprised at how happy and content we are. I have had many of these moments, most recently, my acceptance to USD in 2015. Financially, USD was too much for my family to afford and I would need a large financial aid package to be able to attend. I think I prayed harder than I had prayed in a really long time.

When I first visited USD in the spring of 2015, I can remember almost perfectly the immediate feeling of being at home that washed over me. In the beauty of the USD campus I saw Christ and this beauty became a reminder of his consistent presence around me every day. This is why I really wanted to attend this school and it wasn’t until I accepted that Gods will for me might be different, that I was more at peace. When my financial aid package came in, I was pleasantly surprised. USD had offered me more financial aid than all the other schools I had applied for. Just like the second reading suggests, when we become aware of our own weaknesses, and offer those up to God, the Holy Spirit begins to intercede on our behalf. My first two years at USD have been a true blessing. I have met so many amazing people and come to develop a deeper more sincere faith life. I have a family here, and my experience has been everything I dreamed it would be and more.

Perhaps this how the Kingdom of Heaven will be. When I think about the Kingdom of Heaven, just like what USD is to me, the word home comes to mind. A place of comfort, unconditional love, and true lasting happiness. I challenge you all this week to remember that it is okay to admit weakness, especially to the Lord. If we are able to do this, we are rewarded greatly here on earth, but most importantly in the Kingdom of Heaven.

- Elianna Lucas, ‘19