Wheat Out of Weeds
In Our Gospel reading Jesus tells the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat. In the parable, the enemy of a landowner sows weeds among the landowner’s wheat. When the servants of the landowner discover this, they ask him if he wants them to pull up the weeds. But the landowner tells them to wait until harvest time, lest they pull up some wheat along with the weeds. Then the weeds can be burned and the wheat harvested.
If we look at the weeds as those who will be condemned, and the wheat as those who will enjoy heaven, there are a couple of things I think which are important to remember. Unlike real wheat and real weeds, people can change. God can make “wheat” out of “weeds,” if we let His love in Jesus Christ transform us. Another thing is to remember the mercy of God. In the parable, the servants ask the landowner if he wants them to pull up the weeds. It seems to me in our divided times, that we are often tempted to tell God to pull up those considered to be “weeds,” right now!
Reflecting on God’s mercy helps us understand the other two parables in our Gospel reading: the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast. For me, these two parables are wonderful images of the church we’re called to be. Like the tiny mustard seed, the church can grow to offer comfort to those who are hurting, but without us showing mercy, how can people hear of God’s love? And if the church is to offer God’s love as a leaven in the world, that leaven must include mercy. The world already has too much intolerance and hate.
May God continue to transform us into wheat that bears His love.
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P., is the local superior of the Passionist Community in Birmingham, Alabama.