Matthew 13 24 – 43
Jesus told another story. “God’s kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.
“The farmhands came to the farmer and said, ‘Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn’t it? Where did these thistles come from?’
“He answered, ‘Some enemy did this.’
“The farmhands asked, ‘Should we weed out the thistles?’
“He said, ‘No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.’”
All Jesus did that day was tell stories – a long storytelling afternoon. Jesus then dismissed the congregation and went into the house. His disciples came in and said, “Explain to us that story of the thistles in the field.”
So he explained. “The farmer who sows the pure seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the pure seeds are subjects of the kingdom, the thistles are subjects of the Devil, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, the curtain of history. The harvest hands are angels.
“The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen. At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father.
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?
Jesus spoke in parables because He wants to convey a teaching and He wants His disciples to have a personal reflection on every parable that He gives. These parables are not only for the disciples to reflect on. This is also for us to ponder and contemplate.
The first parable is about a man who sowed good seeds, then while all were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds. The owner just let both the good seeds and weeds grow side by side. However, during harvest time the weeds were pulled first, after that they were tied in bundles and were burned. After which they gently gathered the wheat and they put it into the owners barn.
If our lives will end now, where will we end up? Will it be in hell to burn like the weeds? Or will it be in heaven like the wheat that ended up in the owner’s barn. Another parable was about the tiny mustard seeds that were sowed in the field. It rose like a big tree where birds find rest. When we were baptized the seed of our catholic faith was also sown by Jesus into us.
Has it risen as big as a mustard seed? Have we become instrument of Jesus’ compassion and mercy in word and in deed? These parables invite us to self-reflections. How are we as followers of Jesus? Are we like the weeds or the wheat? Is our faith now as big as the mustard seed in word and in deed? Have we already become yeast to our followers by way of helping them know Jesus in a much deeper sense?