Homily for the sixteenth Sunday of the year - Year A - Mt. 13:24-30
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. 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...» "
 
The parables that intend to explain the Kingdom follow each other: last Sunday, we read the parable of the sower, today that of the weeds and the good grain. To these two we could add that of the grain that grows on its own, as recorded by Saint Mark (Mk. 4:26-29). Without wanting to comment on this last parable, let us read it together before getting to today's parable:
 
"The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." (Mk. 4:26-29)
 
" «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 parables of Saint Mark (4:26-29) and of Saint Matthew (13:24-30) have a certain similarity to each other: someone acts and interferes in our cultivation, in the field, which is a sign of the kingdom of God! But, in each case, that someone is different: it is God and his Providence in the parable of Saint Mark, and the enemy of human nature, the Devil, in the parable of Saint Matthew.
 
Divine Providence watches over the proper development of the germination and maturation of our garden: God brings order to our life! On the other hand, the Devil disturbs the peaceful and balanced growth of the good seed by sowing weeds: the temptations of the Devil are at the origin of all of man's disobedience to the orders of God...
 
" «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."» "
 
The parable of the weeds and the wheat was explained by Jesus himself (Mt. 13:36 et seq.). What else could I add? If Jesus provides an explanation, who could provide a better one? No one, it is true. And yet, did not the same Jesus say, on the eve of his Passion: "He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father" (Jn. 14:12)?
 
Just as Jesus grew, so does the Mystical Body of Christ grow, not only in the number of believers who come each day to join themselves to those of previous centuries, but also in quality, penetrating ever more profoundly into the depths of God, through the Holy Spirit: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth." (Jn. 16:13)
 
So is there not a grain of salt that can be added to what Jesus, in all his truth, has explained to us concerning this parable of the weeds and the wheat? Twenty years ago, in 1985, I wrote down my reflections, by hand, on a piece of paper. Ten years later, I could transcribe my reflections onto a computer. Today, I write this homily by typing my thoughts directly on the machine's keyboard... Ceaselessly, technology evolves!
 
So it would be quite possible today to use a selective herbicide to eradicate the field's weeds, without harming the wheat. But would this be done perfectly? I don't think so. Only the Angels of God, as Jesus says in his explanation of the parable (cf. Mt. 13:39), will be able to carry out such a work one day in all its perfection...
 
Nevertheless, if such a separation, one that is almost perfect, could be achieved today, would it not be a sign, among others, that the Day of Judgment is near? As Saint Paul said, "salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed." (Rm. 13:11) May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary prepare us to meet the Lord Jesus in today's Eucharist!
 

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