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July 28, 2018: Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Reading Jeremiah 7:1-11
Gospel Matthew 13:24-30

“‘Where have the weeds come from?’”

“Let them grow together until harvest,” the sower in Jesus’ parable says, referring to the weeds and the wheat. Modern farmers may not follow the sower’s advice, but the parable is clearly meant to teach a lesson in spirituality, not agriculture.

Jesus begins the parable by clarifying that He is describing the “Kingdom of heaven”. Some speculate whether the “Kingdom of heaven” and the “Kingdom of God” that Jesus often describes in parables are synonymous with Heaven itself, or with the Church on earth, or with both. The history of the Church on earth makes it clear—to anyone whose hopes for Heaven are at all lofty—that there’s a significant difference between Heaven and the Church on earth. Perhaps, then, the kingdoms that Jesus describes through His parables are ideals to be striven for?

Whether we answer any of those questions or not, we can derive spiritual principles from the parables that any sincere Christian will want to make her own. Regarding today’s parable, the sincere Christian will naturally ask whether he is one of the weeds or one of the tares of wheat. At different times we may be one or the other. If we’re constantly complaining about “others” in our lives—”those weeds”—then we likely need to make a good examination of conscience.

One purpose of the parables is to give our daily life focus: as the old maxim puts it, “to begin each day with the end in mind”. In other words, we ought not live each day for the sake of each day. We ought to live each day for the sake of the eternal Day that lies just beyond the hour of our death, when our Lord will, with divine circumspection and justice, separate the weeds from the wheat.