July 19, 2020: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“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.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
I used to breathe a deep sigh of relief when a gospel with parables showed up on Sunday. Easy and quick little ditty to spoon feed some Jesus wisdom to my sweet tooth faith life. Open and shut —nothing more to think about. Gospel reader and homilist did all of the easy work. Genuflect, dab some holy water on my fingertips and make a sign of the cross and off I went with sure and sound learning.
Oh for those simple days…..
Now I see a parable on the horizon and I know I am in for some surprises and a lot of questions. I can gauge what is going on inside me by the stories that come up when I read a parable. A “for instance” may help here. In this 2020 reading of Matthew’s parable of the man who sowed good seed, I felt grateful that the weeds were left in with the good plants. That allows time and openness for the weeds to see and live among the good plants and be changed. Gardeners may laugh at my concept of weeds changing! To me, it’s an image of hope and of God’s deep love for us and eternal belief in our goodness.
Parables are invitations for us to “play” with Scripture stories. Have a little fun. Create a parable of your own that tells a story about how you encounter the love of God. Use a simile that speaks to you. I will even start the process for you….The God who loves me is like a…..