Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus teaches the crowds via a parable that likens the kingdom of eaven to a man who sowed good seed. After sowing his seed, the man discovers that his enemy has sowed weeds all through the wheat. As a result, when the crop grew and bore fruit, weeds grew along with the wheat. When his servants ask if they should cut down the weeds, he says no: pulling up the weeds might uproot the good wheat along with the bad. Thus he instructs them to wait for the harvest and collect it all, burning the weeds and gathering the wheat in his barn.

How do we read that?

One interpretation is: Don’t worry, at the end of the day the bad guys will get their due. They will get pulled out and burned as they ought.

Another lesson may be that while they are growing, we don’t always do a good job identifying the wheat from the weeds. We often draw conclusions about people based on our observations, which are partial at best and which don’t afford us the opportunity to see into another’s mind and soul. So perhaps we ought let God take care of sorting things out at the end of the day…especially since unlike a weed, which will always be a weed, people grow and change and can be pruned by God (directly and through others) to bear beautiful fruit.

There is also, though, a broader promise in the parable. A promise that there will come a time when evil will be defeated. However strong the effects of evil look in the world today, there will be a day when evil is completely destroyed.

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