Year A: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 13: 24-43
Another good Gospel for this time of the year as plants - and weeds - continue to grow.
The parable of the wheat and darnel is another example of Jesus taking an example from the world around Him - and using it to illustrate a truth about the spiritual life. As with all parables, we can take it as a nice story - or we can allow ourselves to reflect on it and come to that “ah moment” where we see what Jesus is getting at!
So, as we look at the weeds thriving in the garden and wonder how to tackle the bindweed and buttercups without damaging the plants around them, we can contemplate God’s problem with humanity! Does He deal with the “weeds” and risk damaging the crop - or does He wait and allow them to grow together and sort them all out at the harvest.
The additional passages also speak of the Kingdom and of how it seems almost to be invisible in the midst of the world - and yet totally present within it.
The mustard seed is tiny - but grows - often imperceptible - until suddenly, one day, everyone realises that it has become a tree.
The yeast mixed in with flour seems again to have disappeared - and yet, when the bread is baked, it makes its presence felt as the bread rises.
The Gospel goes on to have Jesus explain the parable of the wheat and darnel in terms of the community that Matthew was writing for. As last week, they were struggling to understand what was happening - why everyone was not embracing the Good News - and why life was so difficult.
The three parables are as relevant today as they were then. We too feel as if we are surrounded by “darnel” - the negative - and sometimes, positively evil influences around us.
We sow seeds - and it is only after a long time that we begin to see the fruits of our sowing - and, often, with a sense of surprise.
And, even more often, we feel that our work for the Kingdom is tiny and invisible - and need to remember that we are like the yeast - immersed in the life of the world and called to raise it up and transform it.
What does it mean for me?
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