JULY 27. Ord Time B. Wk 17. Tue. Mt 13. 36-43
Updated: Sep 10
Leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’
The Apostles teach us an important lesson in today’s reading, and that is that we need to be discerning in reading the Gospels, as the lessons are so subtle and numerous that often we fail to understand.
The parable of the Sower, at first sight, appears to be simple and straightforward but the Apostles come to Jesus and ask him to enlighten them; - ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’
We too need to humbly turn to the Holy Spirit if we want to discern the riches within the Gospels as they contain multiple lessons, and the parable of the Sower is a good example.
Another lesson within it is God allows sin and evil to continue in the world; - rather than “ripping it out as soon as it is seen”; - because he desires to show mercy to sinners! And the same goes for our “thorn in the flesh”; - that failing, or sin, we have difficulty overcoming!
By the power of Divine Grace, and the Passion and Death of Christ, Christ has created a situation where “weeds can be turned into wheat”; - a process; - a supernatural process; - that takes place through the power of Prayer, Faith and Sacrament.
But it is not a quick process; - it happens slowly and requires the soul persevere with Prayer, Faith and Sacrament; - a process referred to by the Church as “growing in holiness!”
God in his wisdom decreed this process of “turning weeds into wheat”; will usually take a lifetime, as it involves our heart, and our desires, being purified of pride and self-love; - whereas we want to see “success” as a result of our own efforts?
God wants us to abandon this desire for success, and learn instead to put our trust in him and his merciful love; - via Faith, Humility and Prayer!
Our desire for “success”; - or “holiness”; - as a result of our own efforts; - is ridiculous as this is something beyond human ability because we are sinners; - and God wants us to learn this during our time here on earth!
This process, of repenting of sin, and growing in holiness, could never take place if God had agreed to the weeds being “ripped out” as soon as they were seen! He wants them to grow until harvest time; - which is when he will deal with any weeds, or souls, that fail to repent!
Gospel Acclamation 1P1:25
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
First reading Exodus 33:7-11,34:5-9,28
'They are a headstrong people; but forgive us our faults'
Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside the camp, at some distance from the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who had to consult the Lord would go out to the Tent of Meeting, outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the Tent, all the people would rise. Every man would stand at the door of his tent and watch Moses until he reached the Tent; the pillar of cloud would come down and station itself at the entrance to the Tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. When they saw the pillar of cloud stationed at the entrance to the Tent, all the people would rise and bow low, each at the door of his tent. The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would turn back to the camp, but the young man who was his servant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the Tent.
And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with him there.
He called on the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness; for thousands he maintains his kindness, forgives faults, transgression, sin; yet he lets nothing go unchecked, punishing the father’s fault in the sons and in the grandsons to the third and fourth generation.’ And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,’ he said ‘let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’
Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing. He inscribed on the tablets the words of the Covenant – the Ten Words.