Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man;the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Anyone who has gone through puberty can relate to the moment when you saw a glaring, whitehead zit in the center of your forehead. There was that immediate urge to pop the pimple. In popping the pimple, though, we increase the chance for scarring, and for more pimples to develop. This unflattering analogy to puberty is similar to our gut reaction when we encounter “weeds” in the garden of our souls.
The Gospel clearly states that it is God’s activity to collect the weeds and harvest the fruit in the field. The moments when we try to pull what we think to be weeds out of our soul, we risk doing harm to ourselves. Instead of becoming less jealous, insecure, prideful, lustful, we become more self-absorbed into an internal world of our own problems. God is the true gardener of our souls who is able to pull the weeds gently so as to remove their roots, and not harm the fruit already present.
Do I love the “weeds” of my soul as places where God is very tender and compassionate towards me? Do I experience the temptation to prune the garden of my soul? What do I want God to be and do for me in these areas of my life?
—Dano Kennedy, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at St. Louis University. He lives at the Bellarmine House of Studies.
Merciful God, you plant each of us like seeds in the same field; together we are nourished and nurtured by the sun. We sway in the wind and are refreshed by the rain. We are blessed that you invite us to grow in your good grace.
When we deprive others of that same opportunity,
When we want to uproot those whom we believe do not belong in our part of the field,
When we label others as good or bad rather than accept them for who they are,
When we are reluctant to acknowledge that we ourselves are a mixture of weeds and wheat,
When we are afraid to look into the fields of our own lives, to see what is growing there,
—Moira LaidlawPlease share the Good Word with your friends!