On this 16th Sunday in ordinary time, Year A, the Gospel (Matthew 13:24-43) tells of the Parable of the Weed. A farmer planted wheat in his farm only for the evil one to come at night and plant weeds in the same garden. When the servants sought permission to go and take out the weeds, the owner said: “let them grow together until harvest time”, so that you do not take out the wheat in the process of weeding out the weeds.
Sometimes, we wonder why God doesn’t immediately punish those who are evil. Sometimes, it seem as though unrighteous people prosper more than the righteous. This parable speaks to this very issue and reveals that God has a long-term strategy for dealing with evil—make a distinction in the future, wait for harvest time when everything is ripe, so that the good seed will not be mistaken for bad weed. So, waiting for harvest time to separate and destroy the weed has actually to do with protecting the wheat—the good seed. At the proper time, those who are of the kingdom will be properly separated from those who are not of it. In Matthew 25:31-32, Scripture says that on the last day, the Son of Man will come in his glory, “and sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people…as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
My friends, none of us were saved at birth. We all started this journey of faith like weeds. Imagine what could have happened if, when we all looked like weed, we were uprooted. None of us would be saved. Scripture says, “The Lord is…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9) and in Ezekiel 33:11, it says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” What at the beginning looks like seed could actually turn out to be weed at the end and what looked like weed at the beginning could actual turn out to be seed. Scripture say: “When the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall die [condemned] and if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live” [saved]. So, waiting till harvest time is God’s long-range plan and an opportunity for us to turn out to be seeds.
This parable also shows that weeds may not just grow out of nowhere buy can actually be planted. Other people could be the reason behind our bad attitudes, behaviors, and idiosyncrasies. Sometimes it may be us that are sowing the weed in our lives without realizing it. In this same parable, Jesus, said that after the weeds are pulled out, “the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father”. So, we need to make every effort to pull the weeds of negativity out of our lives so that we can shine. Our positive attributes are usually deemed by our negative attitudes. Scripture says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers, but rather, delights in the law of the Lord and meditates upon it day and night. He is like a tree planted near streams of water that yields its fruit in season; It’s leaves never wither; whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3). May the good Lord find us to be good seeds on the harvest day! Amen