Are We Little Enough?

Post Date: July 17, 2023
Author: Jeff Borski

First Reading: Wis 12:13, 16-19
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Second Reading: Rom 8:26-27
Gospel: Mt 13:24-43

The very beginning and the very end of our Gospel today, that being the Gospel Acclamation: “Blessed are you Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom” and the very end of Matthews Gospel: “Whoever has ears ought to hear,” both should leave us wondering if we are little enough and do we hear what Jesus is trying to tell us. 

We find ourselves right where we left off last Sunday in Matthew’s Gospel account. Jesus revealed to those gathered on the shore of the sea, and us also, the mysteries of the kingdom.

Jesus speaking in parables… metaphors that draw upon common life and nature. He is speaking in terms that those gathered would have understood. These people worked the fields, and they had farms simply because they had to grow what they needed.

Although these parables are filled with information and items that would have been common in that culture, they still had a way of falling on ears that did not want to hear them. This is where we are called to be “little,” like a child… a child who relies on their parents for their needs, trusts that their parents will care for them, love them, and lead them in truth.

Today, Jesus offers us three parables describing the Kingdom of Heaven. In the first, Jesus proposes: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.” – Matthew 13:24-26

Unfortunately, it was common that enemies would go into a field and sabotage the crop by sowing in weeds. These weeds, called “darnel,” are poisonous. The symptoms of eating darnel grain were dizziness, slurred speech, vomiting, and diarrhea. The problem is they look just like the wheat up until right before harvest when the heads of the darnel would droop over, indicating it was not, in fact, wheat. Even if it were noticed before this point of growth, if anyone were to try and remove it, they would undoubtedly uproot the good wheat as well.

This parable might help to reconcile this issue of evil existing among us. Because Jesus is trying to enlighten us about the fact that though we might work hard and put much interest in sowing good seeds, there are, in fact, forces of evil that work against us; yes, the evil one is in our midst!

Jesus is not without this hardship either, He has sown the good seed of His Word and watered it with the outpouring of His own precious blood, and the evil one, the devil, has and continues to be at work constantly trying to undermine all of the efforts of our Lord.

But as we center on the truth, we see that the Divine Sower, Jesus, does not allow the evil one to steal His peace. Instead, He has allowed the actions of the evil one to remain for now. Jesus is patient, and he allows time for transformation and conversion. Sometimes we even experience the good that comes from an evil act.

Jesus is calling us to examine evil in our own lives. There may be some force, a group, an institution that works against the virtues that the Church extols, or it could be a person in our lives that we find trying, someone that doesn’t live up to our moral expectations. Still, maybe it’s an examination of ourselves, not only how we might be living or not living, the actions and reactions physically or verbally, but how we are thinking, maybe being prideful, idolizing the wrong things in our lives, lacking patience, or just not being kind!

It is not for us to judge anyone, for we are called to be kind, to have a place in our hearts for all people, continually reminding ourselves that we are all sinners. The parable of the wheat and the weeds clearly points out this. We have no right to pull out the weeds from the field because the reality is we might be tugging on our own roots, but instead, we wait for harvest time when the Eternal Judge, the Son of Man, will order His angels to separate the weeds from the wheat.

Today we must ask ourselves, are we little enough, and do we hear what Jesus is trying to tell us?

May this week find us all resting in God’s mercy,

Deacon Jeff

Reference: Vikas Suroshe, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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