The 40 days that Moses spends in the meeting tent fasting and receiving the new covenant is analogous to the suggestion given to “stiff-necked newcomers” to do 90 meetings in 90 days. Moses saw God face to face, but it required 40 days to inculcate the “program” of salvation for the Israelites and, eventually, all of mankind. I am reminded of some advice I received in early sobriety that “time takes time.” There are no shortcuts or magic pills for recovery, and we must be willing to persevere and work on our program over time and with patience.
Today’s Gospel reading of the parable of the weeds in the field is also a great metaphor for my life and addictions, past and present. My life is, and always has been, a mix of weeds and healthy plants. I liken the weeds to my character defects. By identifying these “weeds” through the steps I am able to ask God to remove them. As anyone who does gardening knows, weeding a long-time neglected garden for the first time is very laborious and painful, much like our experience of working Step Four and Step Five for the first time. However, once this initial weeding is done, we can routinely pluck new small weeds that sprout in our lives through our daily maintenance steps. By doing this with God’s help, we allow the garden of our lives to thrive and grow.
- What has been your experience finding a “meeting tent”: a home recovery group where you can unite with others in recovery and share your experience, strength, and hope?
- Are there any character defects that you are hanging on to? What recovery tools, behaviors, or attitudes can you apply to help “weed” them out?
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading: Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5b-9, 28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Reflection by Sober in San Antonio