16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The Lord is our Merciful Judge
Show favour, O Lord, to your servants
and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace,
that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity,
they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.
This Sunday we are, again, reminded of God’s central characteristic – merciful love. We are always in need of forgiveness, and the readings today assure us both of God’s mercy and compassion and the promise of assistance. The Holy Spirit is given freely, to help us in our weakness.
Today’s First Reading reaffirms that God’s mighty strength is demonstrated through fair judgement. And, because God is lenient and kind to us, we might be moved to treat others in the same way.
The Psalm continues the theme of God’s quality of mercy. God is full of compassion, abounding in love and truth. God is forgiveness.
The Gospel deals with the problem of evil. God’s kingdom is one of truth, justice and integrity, but it exists in an imperfect world. St Matthew tells us that God will be faithful to those who have tried to seek him in the midst of the reality of evil.
St Paul tells us that when we need help in this regard, the Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. When I struggle to pray for what I need, the Spirit prays for me! (Second Reading)
Let’s ask, this week, for the help of the Spirit, who prays in and for us.
May we receive what we need to cope with the evils of the world and with our own weaknesses, and may we find our strength in the loving mercy of God.