Today’s Gospel has the disciples asking Jesus to explain to them the Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat. The first point I want to make is it that it is never wrong to ask questions and have things explained to you. How often have we heard a “parable” told to us, had no idea of the meaning behind and where afraid to ask to have it explained. Ask and it shall be given to you (the meaning in this case). The second point I want to make is go back a little bit in Matthew and read verses 24-30 in the 13th chapter of Matthew…I’ll make it easy for you – I have the technology.
24 He proposed another parable to them.* “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds* all through the wheat, and then went off. 26 When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27 The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up? ’29 He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let them grow together until harvest;* then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”g
The reason I went back to read these verses from Matthew 13 was because of today’s Gospel reflection from Bishop Barron…
Friends, in our Gospel today Jesus explains the parable of the weeds among the wheat. God’s word creates the Church, the community of those who strive to build up the Kingdom. But this Church is never absolutely pure and untrammeled, for God’s ways are opposed by a spiritual power, an enemy. His task is to sow weeds among the wheat—clandestinely, quietly, unobtrusively.
This sort of coming-together of good and evil is to be expected. The Church will always be a place of saints and sinners, and the sinners will often look like saints. The enemy of the Church, who never rests, ensures it.
When we discover evil, it is always very tempting to go after it with both fists, to take it out. But the warning of the Master here is extremely important. Sometimes, our zeal can lead to far greater problems, precisely because of the way evil is related to the good.
So what should we do? Let them grow side-by-side for the time being. At the end, at harvest time, the Master will separate them out.
When we discover evil, it is always tempting to go after it with both fists…When I read this reflection this morning I thought back to my blog from yesterday and the wisdom from today’s Gospel shown through to me. Whenever we encounter evil, sin – especially when that evil or sin is disguised as someone we see as a saint, our initial reaction is HATE – to take that person out – pluck that weed from among the wheat. What we fail to realize in our HATRED is that God is the sower of the field – not us – he knows what is wheat and what is weed and will send His angels in due time to separate the good from the bad. It is not always our duty, our responsibility to be the one to separate the weeds from the wheat.
So does that mean we sit back and do nothing? I don’t think so. You and I have a responsibility to make sure that we do not become weeds so that when God’s angels come to do the harvesting, we are not among the weeds picked from the field and sent to the fires to be burned. Sounds easy – right?
Let me post for you now the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
…cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls…Satan and the evil spirits are real; they exist today just as much as they existed in the past and they will be with us in the future. Fighting Satan and his evil spirits is a battle we will face everyday of our lives and it is not an easy one. The problem is Satan and the evil spirits are subtle little creatures. They work in the background; the dark areas of our lives. They send evil ones who among us seem like saints and break us down little by little. I am going to use as an example what is happening in our Church today. We saw Pope Francis accept the resignation of a Cardinal over the weekend; we are hearing reports of priests sexually abusing nuns in Chile’; the scandal of priests abusing children. What better example can be given of the weeds of the evil one being placed among the good seeds of God.
We must pray daily that we are the seeds that fall into the rich soil. We must water ourselves – daily – with the Word that comes from God so that our roots grow deep in this rich soil. As a minimum, read from the Word of God everyday, find time to pray everyday, be at Mass on Sunday, be a frequent participant in the sacrament of Reconciliation. As a parent, be the example for your children in what means to be a good and faithful servant. Maybe then when the angels of the Lord come for the harvest, we will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of our Father.
Do something great for our Lord today – pray for the conversion of sinners. Pray for a miracle that changes weed into wheat.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.