He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
A common definition of a weed is any undesirable plant that chokes out more desirable or productive plants. Weeds compete and often win the battle for scarce life-giving resources such as water, soil and sun.
Last month I had the opportunity to visit a wheat farm in western Kansas. Only a few days from harvest the farmer drove me slowly along the edge of the field. Suddenly he stopped the pickup to uproot some wild rye that had blown into the field. Unlike the farmer in the parable, he didn’t even wait until harvest since the rye vigorously re-seeds itself in the field. His vigilance amazed me since, to an untrained eye, the rye looked just like the wheat which is a clever disguise for a weed.
Sometimes things that seem good can obscure our truest purpose, or the end for which we are created. Are there weed-like attachments or attitudes in my life that conflict with the purpose for which I was created?
“…One must use created things, in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end.” Excerpt from St. Ignatius, First Principle and Foundation).
—John Sealey is the provincial assistant for social and international ministries for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuit provinces.
Lord, some days it is so easy to trust in you; other days trust escapes my heart and mind. In those times of fear and uncertainty, please help me to hold on to you and keep alive my belief that ultimately all will be well. And should I be clinging to any attachments or attitudes that conflict with the purpose for which I was created, give me the resolve to release myself of these hindrances and commitment myself entirely to you.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team