Our Garden Might Be Full of Weeds, But God Is Infinitely Merciful

The farmer in Jesus' parable sowed good seed in his field and expected a bumper harvest. Soon the sturdy green shoots sprang up, covering the field from one end to the other. It appeared that the farmer's expectations would be realized.

However, one morning he discovered weeds growing among the shoots of wheat. Not just a weed here

and there, but weeds appeared throughout the field. Certainly, he was disappointed at the sight and concluded that an enemy was out to destroy his harvest. What could he do? The obvious answer was to pull the weeds. However, this would be to risk the danger of pulling up the shoots of wheat as well.

So what did he do? For one thing he calmed down. This enabled him to see things in a better light. Yes, there were weeds in the field but there was wheat also. He would have to be humble and patient as we worked to help the wheat become strong so that it would outgrow the weeds.

The world is a mixture of light and darkness, good and evil. Wheat and weeds grow side by side in the same person, in each one of us. But all is not lost as there is good there too. No one understood this better than Jesus. Even in his small garden that being his handpicked apostles, which he carefully tended for three years the weeds persisted, yet Jesus didn't write them off.

Each day we are called to work on the good and resist evil. But we have to do so in such a way that we not do further evil in the process. Evil can be overcome only by good.

Because of the presence of evil we have to struggle. However, it is through the struggle that we grow! The struggle awakens within us all that is good and precious. In reality, unless we had to make a choice between good and evil, no virtue would be possible.

On harvest day the farmer separated the weeds from the wheat. He harvested a fine crop even though it fell short of the one hundred per cent he had hoped for. And for some strange

reason, he got more satisfaction from reaping that harvest that from any other. Truly, there is more joy when the victory is won through testing and endurance.

The parable is both realistic and optimistic and can easily be understood and applied to our lives. As Jesus said at the end of today's Gospel account, "Whoever has ears ought to hear."

– Fr. Dennis, July 19, 2020