Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19
Romans 8: 26-27
Matthew 13: 24-30
How many times have you wondered why God hasn’t intervened in some ugly situation? I know I’ve wondered more than a few times. It seems that it would be so much easier if only God would step in and fix things. Injustice, wars, starvation and famine, violence of all kinds and the suffering of so many people in so many ways all seem to cry out for God’s intervention!
The readings today offer a different perspective. In the parable that Jesus tells, it becomes clear that the owner of the field wants to make sure that absolutely none of the good wheat should be sacrificed in order to root out the weeds. He wants the good wheat to grow strong and mature so when harvest comes it will be easy for the harvesters to separate the wheat from the weeds. Clearly, the field will be awfully messy while the growing takes place, but the harvest will be so much better given the owner’s patience.
Like all parables, it makes great sense from one point of view but not from all points of view. But Jesus surely wants us to know that God’s going to give us every chance and all the time we need to grow into strong, mature men and women…and only then make judgment about whether we are wheat or chaff!
The reading from the book of Wisdom makes a similar point. "And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and you gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins."
We are so often in a great hurry to make a judgment, to find a resolution, to make our point, to fix the world around us. The readings today remind us that God always takes the time needed to accomplish His saving will. It’s a message well worth hearing, and pondering!
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is the director of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.