Weeds or Wheat?

Aug 9, 2020

Fr. Michael shares today’s reflection, based on the gospel lesson from a few weeks ago. We are excited to welcome Fr. Michael back to the Center, in person, when he serves as a spiritual director during our August Directed Retreat. He’ll also be celebrating daily Mass with the retreatants too. There are still a few spots available and you can learn more here. Let’s take a few quiet moments to read Fr. Michael’s lesson from scripture.

Weeds or Wheat?

The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” ~ Matthew 13:24-30

In today’s gospel parable, a farmer tells his workers not to pull out the weeds that are growing in a field with the wheat. His reason is that sometimes the weeds and the wheat look alike. And beyond that, the roots of the weeds may be intertwined with those of the wheat. So, in trying to pull out the weeds, you may also pull out and destroy the wheat.

I see three lessons that Jesus us trying to teach us here.

First, don’t weed out one another. Resist the human tendency to separate, divide, and exclude. Sometimes religion and those who are religious can get into this. Jesus calls us to be patient and give what looks like weeds the chance to grow into wheat.

Second, don’t call others weeds. This is a dualistic approach which the best of our Catholic tradition has condemned. Jesus calls us to a more unitive approach – seeing ourselves and others as one because, in fact, there is a mix of wheat and weeds in me and in all of us. Jesus is patient with us in letting us grow, and he wants us to be patient with others.

And third, concentrate more on the wheat than the weeds. Nourish the wheat, and eventually, there will be a good harvest. God, in his own way, will take care of the weeds – that’s not our job to do. So, act positively in promoting what is good – that is what we are to concentrate on.

Some good lessons from this simple agricultural parable that Jesus tells!

~Father Michael Schleupner