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The weeds among the wheat

Gospel Reading: Mt 13:24-30
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “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.”

This parable is drawn from an agricultural imagery. There are three places where the parable applies: to the ministry of Jesus, to the life of the Church, and to the future judgment at the end of the world. In terms of the ministry of Jesus, the parable assures the disciples that the rejection he is receiving (the weeds threatening to overwhelm the just sprouting wheat) is the result of the enemy action and not a defect in the message and work of Jesus. In terms of the life of the Church, the parable presents the realities of the Church: there are weeds among the wheat “in the pews.” The Church is like the field in the parable. Weeds are entangled in the wheat; good and evil are mixed together. But when all is said and done, this evil will not endure; the goodness of God will prevail; the tender wheat will be protected and saved. The third application of the parable, to the future judgment of the world, is explored when Jesus explains this parable to the disciples later in Mt 13:36-43.

Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.

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