1st Reading – Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
The Book of Wisdom, also called the Wisdom of Solomon, is believed to have been written in the first century before Christ by a Greek-speaking Jew of Alexandria in Egypt. The Egyptian rulers from Ptolamy VIII (116 B.C.) to Cleopatra (30 B.C.) were not well-disposed toward their Jewish subjects. The Jewish religion was despised by the
powerful, the wealthy, and the learned. The faith of the Jews was in constant danger of corruption from idolatry and false philosophy. To strengthen the faith of his co-religionists, to console them in their afflictions, to raise their hearts above the sordidness and immorality by which they were surrounded – this was the main purpose of the writer of the Book of Wisdom. But he also had another purpose in view. Many Jews, anxious to gain the good will of the Egyptians, had faltered in their allegiance to Yahweh and gone over to the camp of the enemy. To these unfortunates the sacred writer addresses himself time and again, warning them of the impending judgment of God and conjuring them to return to the path of true Wisdom which alone leads to perfect happiness.
The Book of Wisdom was not written merely for the Jews sojourning in Egypt, but for all men of all times. Every Jew who read it must have been filled with the joyous conviction that God would never forsake His people, and that Israel’s religious ideals were bound to gain the final victory over the pagan world. The Christian finds in it the highest religious and moral lessons – lessons which are of paramount importance today, just as they were over two thousand years ago. The frivolity of the ungodly, the trials and consolations of the pious, the utter discomfiture of the wicked and the serene confidence of the just in the day of judgment, the glorious origin and the supreme excellence of Wisdom, the humble dependence on God of the true seeker after Wisdom – all this is described with a warmth and vividness that cannot but move the heart to its depths and attract it irresistibly to the love and service of God.
In our first reading today the sacred author speaks of God’s merciful discipline of sinners.
2nd Reading – Romans 8:26-27
Today we continue with Saint Paul’s description of the future glory that awaits those who live the Christian life empowered by the Spirit.
Gospel – Matthew 13:24-43
Our reading today takes over from where last week’s reading ended. Recall that Jesus had just begun teaching in parables and that last week we heard the Parable of the Sower. Today we hear the Parables of the Weeds Among the Wheat, the Mustard Seed, and the Leaven.