The Prelate’s Message – June 27, 2021
Today, on the sixth Sunday of the Pentecost, our Gospel reading is from Saint Matthew 13:24-30. Following the parable of the Sower, our Lord Jesus Christ tells the parable of the weeds (also called tares) sprouting among the wheat to acquaint His audience with the Kingdom of Heaven. A householder sows good seeds in his field. While everyone is asleep, an enemy comes and sows weeds among the wheat. To the surprise of the servants, when they see that weeds are growing along with the wheat, they ask their master to uproot them. The master warns them that while attempting to root out the weeds they might damage the wheat also. He suggests to them to wait until the harvest is come to decide how to remove the good wheat from the invasive weeds.
The parable about the weeds, like the earlier parable about the sower, reflects agricultural life, and may not immediately seem applicable to those who live and work in the cities. Yet, we believe that every teaching of our Lord, regardless of the circumstances, has a direct message to all generations at all times. Indeed, after teaching two more parables, our Lord explains the meaning of the weeds in verses 36-43. Let us therefore enjoy the harvest of this lesson.
- The original nature of Creation was good, since the Creator is Goodness, par excellence. The goal of creation was intended to be good, and as such, after each day of the creation of the elements, we read that “God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:4,12,18,21,25,31). The Apostle James says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). The loving and caring Creator, as the source of good, projected His nature of order, harmony, and beauty throughout Creation at large, and endowed His image of intellect and free will upon us human beings.
- The consequence to the sowers makes it obvious that evil is later introduced into creation. The main cause of this action might be pride, envy, hostility, or something else which is veiled from us yet is clear to the Creator. The timing of the sowing of the weeds proves that evil operates secretly. The aim of evildoing is to inflict the maximum amount of damage.
- The verdict of the master is very remarkable. It proves that he has a comprehensive understanding of the entire course of the events. While the servants were adamant in wanting to uproot the weeds without realizing the side-effects of doing so, the master suggests patiently to wait until the harvest, and then to make the proper decision for both to the wheat and the weed.
This parable may not sound close to our society living in an advanced technological world; nevertheless, if we observe carefully, very interestingly we will find familiar aspects which we experience ourselves. Surely many of us in our backyards, or even on our balconies have pots planted with seeds of flowers. As soon as they grow, surprisingly we find a lot of weeds surrounding the flowers. In our rush, if we try to uproot those weeds, they are so interwoven with the roots of the flowers that the newest growth may be damaged. The master’s prudence was indeed praiseworthy by instructing his servants not to take an immediate action, but rather to wait patiently to avoid causing any damage to the wheat.
- The intention of our Lord Jesus Christ was not to offer a crash course in agriculture, but as usual He used the elements of Creation to bring rational beings closer to understanding the Kingdom of Heaven. With this approach He explains in verses 13:36-43 that the master represents God, while the enemy is Satan; the field is the world, the good seeds are the children of the kingdom, while the weeds are the children of the evil one. The harvest presents the end of ages when the ultimate and eternal judgment will be decided for both good and evil ones.
Once again, we are reminded that there is no excuse for those who in their enthusiasm forget or ignore the Day of the Judgment, and carelessly conduct a sinful life, deceiving themselves that punishment does not reflect the true essence of a loving heavenly Father. By repeating our Lord’s words, we say, “let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (Mt 13:43)
Being illuminated by this simple parable and having the explanation of the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven, let us be part of those who eternally “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the heavenly Father”, praising the All-Holy Trinity. Amen.