The weeds may not be a bad thing


The weeds may not be a bad thing

We benefit from Jesus explaining the parable to the disciples in this week’s Gospel reading. Yet, as always, there is still work to do to understand the message. It is important to look at all three readings to discern the message. The Wisdom reading reminds us of how God loves us and “judges us with mildness.” (Wisdom 12:18). This does not mean that we can go run amuck; it means that it is inevitable that we will veer off the right path and God will be there for us. It is so unavoidable that Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that we need the Spirit. It is impossible for us to know how to put what we need from God into words, so the Spirit is there to help us.

Fast forward now to Matthew’s Gospel account. Jesus is trying to explain the Kingdom to his close friends. But remember, God knows that we need help understanding ourselves enough to pray accordingly, let alone how we may understand others. I worry that at first glance, it appears that some of us are made by God and, therefore, good, and others are not. As we often hear, “Words matter.” One needs to pay attention to the language used in the parable—the word children can be misinterpreted; children of the kingdom and children of the evil one. The children of the kingdom are grown from the seeds sown by Jesus. The weeds are the children of evil; no seeds are sown by the evil one. Weeds are not people but things that grow out of our bad decisions.

The first two readings point to the fact that these weeds are inevitabilities. The weeds happen when we don’t care for the soil we heard about last week. Again, God doesn’t make bad soil; God makes good seeds. The soil will only be good if we care for it. Our youngest daughter has Down syndrome; this is a huge blessing to our family! I have perspectives that I would never have had without her in our lives. One essential thing is that we set her up for success. If she is heading out to an event, or a situation that is not typical for us, it is important that we prep her for what is coming. We need to tell her what the day will look like, let her know what the expected behaviour is, and we must say these things repeatedly. I have been thinking about how that plays out in my life lately. When I don’t pray enough, I am not setting myself up for success; I am not making sure I have good soil. I need to start my day with prayer; I need to go over what being a good Christian looks like so that when I encounter things, I can react in a way that shares the Good News.

As always, I am looking at community and my role within it. Weeds are the consequences of our decisions, but we must remember they are also opportunities. If not, the parable would instruct us to pull the weeds immediately, not leave them until harvest. The weeds are necessary to grow in our skills as Christians; this is the only way to set ourselves up for success. This is where we can face our weaknesses and turn to God. Without them, it is too easy to think that we are all good seeds falling on the best soil.

However, we do not need to do this hard work alone. God has given us the tools—mercy and prayer with the help of the Spirit.

By Serena Shaw
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate
Phone: (780) 231-3066

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