Homily for the sixteenth Sunday in the year

Year A  -  Mt. 13:24-30


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"Another parable Jesus put before his disciples, 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 he 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.'"

As in the case of the parable of the Sower, which we heard last week, Jesus himself told his disciples the meaning of this symbolic story.  In verses 37 to 43 of chapter 13 of Saint Matthew, Jesus says, among other things, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels." (Mt. 13:37-39)

Through this parable, the Lord wants us to understand that the sons of the Kingdom will, throughout their lives, be confronted with the evil sown in the world by the enemy, Satan, the adversary of the Salvation of men!  From the time of their coming into the world, up until their very last breath, the men and women who hope in the Salvation of God in Jesus Christ will have to fight against the sons of the Evil One, those who have been seduced by the devil through thousands of subtle and malicious artifices.  It is useless to try to escape this, since even the Son of Man himself permitted the devil to tempt him, and since, in the end, it was the servants of the angel of darkness who put the Son of God to death, for the Salvation of all.

"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.'"

Evil is in the world, and it is the devil who put it there!  However, Jesus has conquered the devil through his death and resurrection:  he conquered him, for in dying and resurrecting for us, he conquered death, not only corporeal death, but also, and especially, spiritual death, the evil above all other evils!  Jesus is our Victory, Jesus is our Life!  But, as we know, we, who are in Christ, are his Body:  with him, all of us are but a single Mystical Body!  Therefore, what has taken place in the Head - that is, in Christ himself - must also be accomplished in the Body - in us, the members of this Body.  Thus, death must be conquered not only by Christ in person, but also by each one of us who are members of his Body.  And this is why weeds remain in the world and why the sons of the Kingdom must face the sons of the Evil One until the end of the world, until death is conquered by the final resurrection of all the sons of God!

However, did Jesus not say, referring to the Eucharist as the Bread from heaven:  "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die." (Jn. 6:50)?  This means that, through Eucharistic communion, we can anticipate our victory over death and, through the virtue of this sacrament, already be resurrected in Christ the Son of God.  However, the Eucharist supposes a profound faith on our part, a faith capable of anything without exception, but above all a faith which contains within itself an unequalled obedience to the Word of God in person, the Word present in this Most Holy Sacrament!  Truly, in order to already be resurrected in Christ through the Eucharist, one must practise what Saint Paul calls "the obedience of faith" (Rm. 1:5).

It is all here:  the obedience of faith!  This, moreover, is why, in today's parable, Jesus, in the person of the owner of the field, forbids his servants to gather the weeds: "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.'"  Paradoxically, the obedience of the servants, our obedience, far from allowing evil to invade the world, serves ultimately to eliminate and exorcise it.  For, in doing so, in obeying the Lord, the servants, whom we are, place their reliance in the power of God and, in a way, anticipate in themselves the coming of the Lord at the end of the world:  it is by refusing to take it upon themselves to eliminate evil, and instead by committing everything to God, that they gain victory over death!

"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.'"

Paradise was lost through the disobedience of the man and woman whom God had created.  Paradise, which is the barn mentioned in the parable, will be regained through the obedience of the Son of Man, who invites every man and woman in the entire world to follow him on the way that leads to Life!  Through the obedience of faith, we can all regain the lost Paradise:  already, in the Eucharist, the living Bread which comes down from Heaven, Jesus resurrects us in him and takes us with him, as if we were wheat which would one day be gathered together in his barn!  May Mary, who has never faltered in her obedience to the Word of God, aid us on the way of life and lead us into God's Paradise!