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Gospel Reflection – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jul 21, 2023

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
weeds among wheat

With the new movie, “Sound of Freedom” making waves on social media, I’ve been waiting to catch a glimpse of it when it arrives in Australia.

 

The movie is an inspiring story based on true events that shed light on the grim reality of child sex trafficking. The movie was produced by Angel Studios, the company that put together the hit TV show “The Chosen,” who have been clear that there are some creative liberties for storytelling purposes but the issue remains the same.

 

The organisation, Operation Underground Railroad (O. U. R.), which was founded by Tim Ballard, embark on numerous missions throughout the world rescuing victims from the clutches of human trafficking.

 

In an interview with psychologist and media personality Dr Jordan Peterson, Tim Ballard describes the calmness with which many of the human traffickers speak. Mr Ballard is baffled by their sense of being ‘undaunted’ with their exploits, and by their atrocities as they explain in detail.

 

Dr Peterson details this descent into evil where a person pushes the boundaries of their already misguided tendencies and seek more intense expressions. Eventually, they get to the point of no return. Some of the stories of Tim Ballard’s experiences make it clear to any hearer that evil does exist in this world, especially evil people.

 

Today’s parable of the darnel among the wheat shows us that the people who belong to the Kingdom of heaven live amongst those who belong to the evil one as represented by the weeds. At the end of time there will be a separation that will determine who is destined for eternal fire and who is destined for life with God – may we be counted among the saints and the angels.

 

Being in a first world country, we’re blessed to have many privileges at our fingertips. We’re also blessed that we don’t compete, in the same way as Tim Ballard, with the darkness of human trafficking, but maybe you’ve encountered evil people in your journey.

 

Make no mistake, evil is here. Let us not be people who close our eyes to these realities but combat them with our prayer and by raising awareness. If you would like to assist in the work that Tim Ballard’s organisation does, google search Operation Underground Railroad 

 

Fr William Aupito Iuliano

 

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