Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
I have a garden like a lot of people do. We have corn, tomatoes, peppers and even some pumpkins from seeds we planted last year. And one of the things I try to do on a regular basis is remove the weeds so the plants can grow.
In this passage, you would think that Jesus would have said “remove all the weeds so the good wheat can grow without constraint”. But that is not the message here.
At Mass yesterday, my priest Fr. Chris described it this way: ” If you remove the bad, how can you recognize the good?” I had never thought about it that way before. How do we know what is good for us if we don’t know first what is bad. If we can’t determine the evil in our lives, how can we know what is the right thing to do?
I now look at this passage with a new understanding. I know that bad and good things happen together and that is the way God wants it. It is in good and bad times that I need to go to God with prayer and thanksgiving. Even the hardest of times is a gift from God because He will always give us what we need to come through it. And personally, some of the weeds are caused by my own actions and I need to recognize that and make reparations for those actions to God and others.
When the weeds get too high, I go to my garden and remove them so my vegetables can grow. In my own life, when those bad decisions and actions get too much, I must weed them out so my relationship with God and others can flourish. It’s easy to weed a garden; you only need a few tools. It’s not so easy at times in your own life to admit your wrongs and make reparations.
Take a look at your garden and separate the weeds from the wheat and enjoy what God has left for you – a bountiful harvest of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and love.