Sunday, July 19
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13: 24-30
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
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?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
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.”’”
“Where have the weeds come from?” I am guessing you have asked this from time-to-time if you have a garden. How did it get to this point? But how about the weeds in our lives? Maybe you have been reading or watching the news lately and wondered to yourself, “How did our world get in this shape?” “How did we get to this point?” It is one headline after another.
Maybe you have even questioned your own life’s circumstances and asked: “How did my life get like this?” “What has become of my life?” There is the sadness and the wounds of our lives, the betrayals and resentments, the addictions, fears, the loneliness, an illness, the loss of a spouse…a child…a parent…a very close friend; a broken marriage or relationship. “Where did these weeds come from?”
In our lives, we might think that if we do good, work hard, and be nice to everyone, that everything should work out the way we want them to. However, that is not necessarily how life works out for us, does it? And it is one of the challenges for us with today’s Gospel from Matthew. It is a challenge for us to become more than who we think we are, and it arises every time we face the weeds of our lives and the world we live in.
According to Jesus, our lives and our world are a vast field in which good and evil, life and death, joys and sorrows, grow and live side-by-side. But Jesus’ advice is to leave the weeds in the field; for any attempt to root out the weeds will only do more damage to the crops.
Friends, in the world we know and live in, weeds do not become wheat. However, in today’s Gospel we can hold out hope for those who do stumble in life, if only we will work to follow Jesus’ teachings the very best way we can. Hopefully, we will all strive to be the harvest of wheat for Him and not be the weeds in our world.
-Deacon Paul Zemanek