The Lord spoke to Moses face to face.
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 33:7-11:34:5b-9.28)
In those days: Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp; and he called it the tent of meeting. And every one who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose up, and every man stood at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, every man at his tent door. Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tent. And Moses proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy and faithfulness, keeping merciful love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses made haste to bow his head towards the earth, and worshipped. And he said, “If now I have found favour in your sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I beg you, go in the midst of us, although it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.” And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm103:6-7.8-9.10-11.12-13 (R. 8a)
R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.
The Lord does just deeds,
Gives full justice to all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
And his deeds to the children of Israel. R.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He will not always find fault;
Nor persist in his anger forever. R.
R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.
He does not treat us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our faults.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so strong his mercy for those who fear him. R.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far from us does he remove our transgressions.
As a father has compassion on his children,
The Lord’s compassion is on those who fear him. R.
Alleluia. The seed is the word of God, and the sower is Christ; all who find him will abide forever. Alleluia.
“Just as the weeds are gathered and burnt with fire, so it will be at the close of the age.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew13:36-43)
At that time: Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burnt with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The gospel of today is a parable having so many characters and elements: The Father, the Son of man, devil, angels, and the subjects of the kingdom and the subjects of the Evil one. Each of them has a specific role to play. Jesus, through this parable, solves the age-old problem of evil in the world. Where does evil come from? Why does evil coexist with good? What is God’s approach to evil? What will be the fate of good and evil at the end times? The answers are clear in Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the darniel. There is no need to be impatient at the presence and growth of evil in the world because they are permitted by God. Ultimately there will come about the victory of good over evil. Of course we need to work towards minimizing and even eliminating the presence of evil in each of us by increasing and multiplying the good so that we may be counted worthy of the kingdom on the last day.