JULY 24. Ord Time B. Wk 16. Sat. Mt 13. 24-30
Updated: Sep 10
Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’
This Gospel reading is clearly about the work of the Church’s enemies, of which there are many and one can only wonder about why this is so? An institution which is established to preach the word of God and to promote Charity and Mercy throughout the entire world!
Why does it have so many enemies? But to understand this question we have to go back to the time of Christ, and what we find is that this has always been the situation; - with Christ’s Passion and Death also being brought about by his enemies; - and even some of his friends!
What we are dealing with here is the extent of pride, self-love and sin that exists in the world; - and the forces that are at work to preserve and promote evil; - and it all finds its foundation in the sins of our first parents when they chose to reject God’s love and follow their own desires.
Thus they brought sin and evil into the world! But today’s Gospel highlights how Christ and his Church have chosen to respond to this evil; - with patience, love and mercy!
The landowner has discovered his enemies sowed weeds within his crop; - and the workers want to pull them out; - but the farmer declined; - because in pulling out the weeds they might destroy some of the healthy crop.
“When you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn!”
And this is the way the Church also react to the many enemies it finds itself having to deal with; - it shows Love and Mercy towards them; - and it encourages its members, and others, to respond in the same way; - always in the hope they will repent of evil.
And is this not how Christ himself responds to sinners? And given the Church is Christ’s Mystical Body it should not be a surprise that it responds evil in the same way; - because of its obligation to continue his teachings.
The message, from both Christ and his Church, is the answer to evil is Love! This can be a hard lesson to understand but it was clearly Christ’s message, and he bore witness to it, in a dramatic way, on Calvary!
But we must never forget, Calvary was not the end; - with the Crucifixion followed firstly by: The Resurrection, and then the Ascension; - into Heaven!
Christ wants us to respond to the world’s evil in the same way; - with Faith, Love and Mercy!
Gospel Acclamation Jm1:21
Receive and submit to the word planted in you:
it can save your souls.
First reading Exodus 24:3-8 ·
This is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you
Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’