Sunday, July 20, is the 16th Sunday in ordinary time (Year A, Cycle II). Pope Benedict XVI will say Mass today at 10 a.m. Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park in Sydney. Because Australia is on the other side of the world, that’s 7 p.m. Saturday Central time.

Pope2008.com is the Register’s blog covering papal events.

Watch the events on the EWTN feed at Pope2008.com. At 6 p.m., Pope Benedict is scheduled to fly over the fields where pilgrims await him, and then process through motorcade to Mass.


Parish

EPriest.com provides Best Practices for parishes.

Several parishes offer a movie night like the one at St. Peter’s/All Hallows Catholic Church in the Sacramento (Calif.) Diocese.

“For our parish, this became a powerful, inspirational resource for many families,” said pastor Father Rodolfo Llamas. “We feel the need to use every single tool to open the eyes of the people and focus more on the Kingdom of our God.”

Dinis Hinojos is the parish’s movie-night coordinator.

“The feedback that I received makes it so worth my effort,” she said. “The more parishes that are able to do this, the better.”

Ignatius Press promotes and helps coordinate these movie nights that can work to inspire parishioners and raise funds. The company provides a free DVD of the movie package selected and free publicity materials.

All Hallows has hosted one movie per month for four months. Attendance for the last two movies has doubled. New-participant feedback indicates excitement and requests for more frequent showings.


Family

NCRegister.com, the Register’s website, has a list of the top 100 Catholic movies under its “Resources” tab.

We have scheduled our own family’s Catholic movie night every week for a couple of years. It means we end up watching movies that we never otherwise would have watched. By giving it a name and making it special, the day takes on a character that the kids appreciate.

We have seen many of the movies on the Top 100 Catholic Movie List at the Register’s website — movies that explicitly show the Catholic faith in a positive light.

There are three reasons we are committed to doing this.

1. A Catholic culture. The Catholic faith takes root when it’s part of the social fabric and the interactions of many people. We have that in small ways in our society — but these movies can be help expose children to a wider Catholic culture.

2. Positive Catholic portrayals. By showing powerful stories of faith, we provide a vaccine to the negative messages that will soon bombard them.

3. Faith boosters. Of course, we also watch because the stories themselves are inspiring and help transmit the faith.


Readings for Mass

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43 or 13:24-30.

EPriest.com offers free homily packs for priests.


Our Take

Today’s readings show how the Church presents both facets of God — his justice and his mercy. Indeed, mercy isn’t mercy in a world without justice. If there is no price to be paid for sin, then the crucifix is just an act of cruelty instead of an act of self-sacrifice.

In the first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, these two aspects of God are contrasted: “Though you are master of might, you judge with clemency.” The Psalm reminds us: “Lord, you are good and forgiving.”

The Gospel has two parts in the long version, and they are not unrelated. It begins and ends with the parable of the wheat and weeds.

This calls sharp attention to the fact that justice lies with God alone. We are not to attempt to separate the good from the bad — we are to leave that task to God.

Here is one case where we can find hope in the Old Testament reading after the difficult warning of the Gospel: “You gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins,” says the first reading.

And the middle part of the Gospel offers further hope. The Kingdom of God is something that he accomplishes in us, slowly and patiently, as surely as seeds eventually grow and yeast makes dough rise.

The Hoopeses are editorial directors of Faith & Family magazine (faithandfamilymag.com).