To read the texts click on the texts:Wis12:13,16-19, Rom 8:26-27; Mt 13:24-43
first parable of the Gospel text of today, found only in the Gospel of Matthew,
is known variously as the parable of the wheat and weeds or the parable of the
wheat and darnel or tares. It is one of the only two parables which have been
allegorized, the other being the parable of the sower. Though the text for
today includes the parables of the mustard seed (13:31-32), and the yeast or
leaven (13:33), let us focus on the parable of the wheat and weeds (13:24-30).
story is told of a man who went from church to church, hoping to find and then
join a “perfect church.” In the midst of his search someone was bold enough to
say to him, “I feel sorry for that church if you ever find it, for in the
moment you join it, it will not be perfect any more!” The parable seems to
speak precisely of this: were there to be a perfect church, it would be less
than perfect once any human joined it, simply because all are sinners. It also
warns us against relying on our human capacity to know full the mind of God. It
suggests that what might appear to be bad and corrupt or good and pure to us
might not necessarily be any of these. The master’s instructions to the
servants are therefore clearly that they are not to get involved with
separating the wheat from the weeds. The master goes so far as to say that if
they ever try to do it, they could end up damaging the wheat.
is reiterated by both the first and third readings. The reading from Wisdom
speaks of God’s leniency, though he has all the power. He gives sinners time
for repentance because though he is just, he is also merciful. Through this
patience God teaches humans how they must behave towards their fellow humans.
The virtuous must be understanding towards others and slow to condemn.
text from Romans makes clear that no one can penetrate the mystery and depth
and any attempt to do so is futile. God is indeed a mystery and we will never
be able to know him fully. One can only accept this fact humbly and realize its
the fact is that in every generation, in every century in every epoch of time,
there have been and are people who attempt to be more religious than God
himself and some who attempt to be more Catholic than the Pope. Such people try
to make others feel irreligious, guilty and not very good inside, like weeds in
a field of wheat. As humans we are often quick to judge. We want to remove the
obstacles in our way, get rid of, or avoid people who disagree with us. We want
to make life as simple, as easy, and as straightforward as possible. And
unfortunately, many people throughout history have taken it upon themselves to
choose who belongs in the field and who should be weeded out.
we are called today to recognize that it is not for us place to judge others.
Our task is not to judge how others should live their lives, for that is
between them and God. Our task is to think and judge for ourselves how we
should live our own lives. By weighing what we see, feel, and discern, in the
context of community, we are given the chance to choose whether we will let
what is good grow in us or what is evil. We are called to be wheat as far as
can stop God’s work in Christ. His kingdom is forever. Even when it is
difficult to discern signs of the kingdom, because the field might seem to us
to be full of weeds, we must continue to remember that the wheat will continue
the meantime, we have to accept the fact that we live in a world that has both
wheat and weeds. But who can identify weeds? Can we pull up every plant that
looks vaguely suspicious?
truth is that none of us is completely free of evil. As someone once said,
“there is more bad in the best of us, and more good in the worst of us, than
any of us, in this life, will ever know.” This is all the more reason to leave
the sorting of good and evil to God who is patient, merciful and wise. We need
to spend our time trying to be wheat in the world rather than pull up weeds. At
the harvest, that is what will matter most.