Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne,
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
This opening verse from today’s gospel reading from St. Matthew leads the gospel writer to explain in clear language the variety of seeds and plants found all around. The imagery would have been even more familiar in an agrarian culture living close to the land.
In the midst of so many disheartening headlines and “breaking news” coverage on television; with all the political banter that seems disconnected from our ordinary lives; with all the hurt and violence humans inflict on one another, we would have every right to believe the “weeds” are taking over the field. We can feel overwhelmed and hopeless…a sure sign of the Evil One at work. Even Jeremiah the Prophet in the first reading today is tempted to give up hope and wonders aloud, “Have you [Lord] cast Judah off completely? Is Zion loathsome to you?”
We need to hear the rest of the story of today’s gospel. The “weeds” do not win. By our own hope and faith, by our own good words and good works we plant seeds that will yield a great harvest. In refusing to participate in vulgarities that demean others or to lose faith in the promise of Jesus that he will remain in our midst, we proclaim the Good News that love and faith in Jesus are greater than death and evil.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and was the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.