PASTORAL VISIT TO OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE HOUSING ESTATE, FEGGE.
THEME: “WEEDS AND WHEAT”
First Reading: Wisdom, 12:13, 16-19.
God is the only one who has the knowledge and power to root out evil. Though, he is lenient with us. God judges with clemency, justice and kindness. So, we have hope and we can learn.
Second Reading: Rom. 8:26-27.
The Spirit of God groans within us helping us to pray.
Gospel: Matt. 13: 24-43.
Three parables, weeds and wheat grow side by side until they are separated at the harvest time. The mustard seed grows to be a very big tree; the leaven helps the dough to rise into a loaf of bread.
2. Focus on the Readings:
The book of Wisdom tells us about the total and exclusive nature of God’s providence. His characteristics of care instead of condemnation and might which he exercises with leniency are emphasized. Divine justice springs from his might. God is able to be lenient because he is powerful. Justice requires reward for the righteous and punishment for the wicked, but God does this with mercy and leniency. Therefore, God teaches the people of Israel and indeed everyone to learn from him, to temper power with leniency and justice with kindness.
The epistle to the Romans describes human limitations and divine assistance in prayer. Human finitude and limitedness are assisted by the Spirit who groans and prays for us in a way too deep for words. Our limitations are thereby salvaged by the Spirit. We can still pray, we can still be holy, thanks to the assistance of the Spirit.
In the Gospel, Jesus employs three parables. First, good seed is sown but weeds grow up along with the crops. The servants want immediate action but the owner exercises patience – till the harvest time. We can compare the time of growth with the present time which is temporal, while the harvest time is eschatological. The second and third parables show the humble beginnings of the gospel and its extraordinary growth. Also, the gospel has universal value, its for all. Again, there is gender balance in the parables. The chief character in one was a man, while in the other it was a woman. The message is for all irrespective of gender.
The certainty of the reward for the righteous and punishment for the wicked is clear but must not be rushed. Whoever has ear should hear and understand.
3. Some Major Lessons:
i. All three readings point to the proper use of talents, our strength, inspiration and ability. Rather than use our strong qualities of mind and soul to dominate others, we ought to exercise them with clemency, tact, concern and respect. Such is the example of God who, though is the Master of might, judges with clemency. He governs with leniency and teaches us that one who is just must be kind. God gives us his children, good grounds for hope by this kind of attitude towards us.
ii. The weeds in the field can be our temperaments and character trait by which we hurt others. We may not be wrong in trying to condemn others for their misdeeds, but God has given us a different example. Sometimes, the misuse of our good qualities suffocates others. When we do so, the good seed in others will not grow; the dough will not turn into good delicious bread because the yeast is too much.
iii. We should look for the weeds in our lives and root them out, but be lenient to the weeds in others as Christ was to St. Peter. He did not weed out Peter, did not weed out even Judas – so that the wheat might grow – prevail.
iv. We should know that there is always a hostile power in the world. We must be on our guard.
v. It is very hard to distinguish between good and bad people. There are often no clear cut demarcations and distinctions. Appearances can deceive. The weed and wheat often look alike.
vi. Do not be quick to judge others. Do not rush until harvest time. Indeed, the totality of life and not part of it would constitute the judgment. So, only God is the right judge since only him has the complete knowledge
vii. Finally, it is clear that there must be judgment at the end of time. People must not be reckless with their lives.
However, the best thing for us is to always look into the field of our own lives and use our might with clemency and kindness towards others.