Commentary for the 16th Sunday
The parable of the weeds and the wheat. And Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the farmer who sowed wheat, then an enemy came and sowed weeds....” The weeds and the wheat grew together. “Let us get rid of the weeds,” said his workers when the weeds and the wheat were still tiny plants. “Better not,” said the farmer, “you might lose some of the wheat too. We'll wait until they are ready for harvesting when we're sure we know what is weed and what is wheat. Then we'll get rid of the weeds.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is like the life of every man and every woman. There is that in each of us which is wheat. There is that which is weed. Should God destroy us because of the weed in us? Or should he give us time? Perhaps that which is weed in us can be overtaken by that which is wheat. A strong prayer life goes a long way in preventing serious sin. The Divine Farmer isn't ready to give up on the crop. We shouldn't give up on ourselves. God knows that what may appear to be weed is in reality wheat. For example, a man has a drinking problem. His drinking is destroying himself and his family. Through prayer and the determination to change his life and through his own openness to the grace of God, he goes for help. He first becomes a member of AA. Then he is active in helping others. Now for the last fifteen years he is dry. He is still an alcoholic, but his condition has resulted in virtue overcoming vice. Now he helps others. God didn't give up on him. He didn't give up on himself. What looked like weed, the disease of alcoholism, turned out to be wheat as he brings God's healing to other alcoholics.
The parable of the mustard seed: the little efforts we make for the Kingdom of God have a tremendous impact upon the world. The parable of the weeds and wheat: God has infinite patience. He is not about to give up on his people. We should not give up on others. And we should not give up on ourselves.
The parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the weeds and the wheat. Two simple parables. Two simple stories. Two tremendous sources of encouragement for us.