Gospel – Matthew 13: 24-43

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.”’”

He proposed another parable to them.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

Whoever wrote the Gospel of today was certainly not a farmer. A farmer would not allow the weeks to grow with the wheat since it would prohibit the wheat from growing well. But, of course, that was not the intent of the writer. The writer was referring to the basic message of Christ: love your enemies and do good to them. The enemies who planted weeds among the wheat did wrong. What is the response of the farmer? Let them grow together, and in the end, the weeds will meet their fate. It is interesting that the workers were slaves. So the farmer was not just as well in having slaves do his work.

We are all called to love the enemy. Our job is not to destroy the enemy. In the end, justice will be carried out. Those who do wrong are never happy campers. They are very sad and disgruntled people. That is their punishment for doing wrong. We are not called to do the same as the enemy and do bad things to the enemy in retaliation or to gain revenge. That is not what we are called to do. We are not to be executors of justice. We are called to seek justice. We are to be peacekeepers, not punishers of those who do wrong. Only love can overcome evil.

The recent marches for justice are an example. If we are Christians we will not do harm to those who try and stop us from marching for justice. We are marching not to hurt anyone, but to demand justice. We are calling for people to change their beliefs about other people and urge them to change their behavior toward others. Dr. Martin Luther King, a Christian minister, often said to his followers that they should not do harm to those who harm them. He told them to allow the weeds to grow up with the wheat. In the end, the weeds will suffer unhappiness and suffering while the wheat will thrive and become good food for the people.

What is good about protests for justice is that since the marches began, people are starting to care more for each other. Recently, I left my knife in the community garden. I thought that I would never see it again. But one day while I was weeding the garden, a Black man came up to me and
asked, “Is this your knife? I saw you working in the garden and thought that you had left it here.” I thanked him a lot since I was missing the knife. I had to ask myself why I thought I would not see the knife again. It struck me that I am racist. I thought that because it is in a Black neighborhood that it would never be returned. It was a lesson for me. It taught me never to judge a person by the color of his or her skin. It taught me that we all need to grow up and to be better people together, not to be weeds.

If we take out the weeds we also take out the crop. God does not create junk or evil people. All humans are created in the image of God. Jesus, taught that God loves all people just as the sun shines on the bad and the good, so we are called to treat each other equally. When we do not treat everyone as equals we have evil. We will have weeds. Remember that we all are weeds at times. We must work to become wheat and to nourish, not tear down, other wheat.

Don Timmerman
Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.