Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Good Seed and Bad Weed
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Psalm 86: 5-6,9-10,15-16; Rom 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43
The man in Matthew’s Gospel has sown good seed, but, an enemy has sown bad weeds in the same field. The man rightly tells his servants not to pull up the weeds while the fruit of the good seeds, the wheat, is growing, lest they pull up the good with the bad. Rather, let them both grow together until they can be safely separated from each other.
God has sown good seed in us but the Devil has sown bad weed among us. So will God pass judgment on us at the end of the age the same way as the wheat and the weeds in the man’s field. But as Wisdom tells us, God judges with clemency and governs us with much lenience, teaching us that those who are just must be kind. God also gives the bad seeds the opportunity for repentance. Psalm 86 succinctly sums up God’s judgment, “You are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity”.
According to human thinking, “It is often easier to want to destroy evil without thinking about collateral damage. But the truth is that evil and good are often entangled.” (Salkeld, B. Living with Christ)
We need only look at our own daily lives and the news headlines to know how true it is that good and evil exist side by side. Don’t we often wonder why God doesn’t intervene?
In my own life, I reflect on the up-coming 20th anniversary of becoming a member of the congregation of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt. According to my schedule, it would have been the 60th anniversary, but for the untimely death of my father (bad weed). I set aside my call to become a Dominican, spending the next 40 years wandering through the wilderness of life, with many memorable moments, until God called me again (good seed). After much prayer and spiritual direction and overcoming the potential obstacles of age and assets, I answered the call. Fortunately, my Congregation welcomed me and I entered with both the good and bad of considerable life experience.
Smarting from the devastating attack of 9/11 on the World Trade Center, we entered into a war in Afghanistan to attack the evil that had been done to us. Did we think through fully the possible consequences? The Collateral Damage: Besides the loss of life and material damage, we are still there.
Seeking to destroy the evil “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, we engaged in another war, while still in Afghanistan. The Collateral Damage: Besides the loss of life, the severe wounds, and the material damage, we are back there advising and fighting the war on ISIS, fighting the terrorism our wars may have helped foster. Think of all the good seed and bad weed that is touching us personally and globally right now. We must pray and act with God’s strength, mercy, and kindness lest we suffer serious consequences. “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear”.
God will intervene in God’s time, at the end of the age, when the evildoers will be thrown into the fire and the righteous will shine like the sun in God’s Kindom. (cf. Matthew)
God please bless our country and our world. Amen!
Sr. Beryl Herdt, OP