Homily for the sixteenth Sunday of the year
Year A - Mt. 13:24-30


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"Another parable Jesus put before them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, "Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?" He said to them, "An enemy has done this." The servants said to him, "Then do you want us to go and gather them?" But he said, "No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "





Homily:


"Another parable Jesus put before them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.' "


Jesus had just told the parable of the sower, and now he continues his discourse by telling another parable on a similar subject: the story of a man who had sown good seed in his field, but who was surprised by the evil actions of his enemy... In short, it is a banal story, and yet a tragic one: a story that humanity has lived, and still lives, ever since Cain killed Abel, at the beginning of mankind's long peregrination after having been cast out of the terrestrial Paradise...


We should not be seeing evil everywhere and all the time. But let us remain vigilant! The further in time we advance, as we approach our meeting with the glorious Christ, the more the devil, the enemy of human nature, sees his hour approaching and the moment of his final defeat resounding in the fanfare of the trumpets of the Judgement of God! So the combat becomes more violent, more insidious, due above all to the darkness of the night in which the enemy operates: "While men were sleeping, his enemy came..."


The enemy loves the night, he loves darkness, for he hates the light: "For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." (Jn. 3:20) It is at night that the enemy sows weeds in the field where good seed had been sown, for it is then that the sun is on the other side of the earth. Night is the time of combat, the good fight of faith: it is the time that reminds us of that night unique in the history of humanity, the night of the Resurrection, when only Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had kept faith and hope in her Son who had died on the Cross...


At night there is only one celestial body that sends the light of the Sun upon the earth: the moon! The light of the Sun of Justice, who is Christ, is reflected to the earth by the Moon, that nearby celestial body that symbolizes the Mother of God, described in the Book of the Apocalypse as follows: "A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." (Rev. 12:1) At night, there is just one being who can help us to fight the devil: the Virgin Mary, She who is to crush the head of the serpent (cf. Gn. 3:15)!


"So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.' "


As Jesus himself had explained, "the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one." (Mt. 13:38) Ever since the original sin, there have always been in the world sons of God and sons of the devil, sons of Light and sons of darkness... But, returning to the symbolism of the parable, it is as the good seed and the weeds grow that the sons of Light and the sons of darkness become manifest: the more time passes and the closer we get to the return of the Lord in Glory, the more the deeds of the good and the evil become known in the eyes of all!


Digressing for a moment, we can very well affirm that the time has come when, thanks to the Internet, the Work of God among men is made manifest to the entire world, at least potentially. For while it is quite difficult to send a letter, a newspaper, or a magazine to all the people of the entire world, it is easy to place on a website, at everyone's disposal, any information whatsoever, and notably all that concerns the Word of God...


But to return to Jesus' parable, let us note well the clemency and patience of the Lord: he does not want his servants to gather the weeds, for fear of also rooting up the good seed! If the Lord acts thus, it is because he hopes for, and still awaits, the conversion of sinners and of all who do evil... May we too have such patience toward others, and also toward ourselves... Let us convert ourselves and let us not be discouraged by our weaknesses!


"Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn."


It is Jesus himself who explains this last paragraph to us: "The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear!" (Mt. 13:39-43)


May the Lord - through Mary, who illuminates our night with her sweet light - grant us his mercy and his grace in order to lead us to the Kingdom of his Father, in the Light of the Holy Spirit! Amen!




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