Gospel Matthew 13:24-30

“While everybody was asleep his enemy came”

I think the technical term for sowing weeds into someone’s crop is, ‘dog-act’.

Here’s a bloke, doing his thing, sewing good seed, which would have cost him time and money, and hoping for a good harvest. Then his enemy rocks up, under the cover of night, and scatters darnel (weeds) among the wheat. It is perhaps the definition of a ‘dog act.’

Jesus tells this parable with a view to educating his listeners, to invite them again into the mystery of the Kingdom of God. But, what is he getting at here?

The parables, as we have said, are not simple formulaic or propositional truth. Jesus does not construct logical syllogisms about himself, the Father, the Trinity, or the coming Kingdom. Instead, he tells these parables and performs miracles that invite us to contemplate something mysterious.

Upon learning of crime committed against him, the good farmer takes a course of action that is instructive. Seeing the weeds growing up around the wheat, the servants probably like most of us, suggest swift and decisive action – let’s weed it out now, they say. But the landowner displays something of a more contemplative approach. He acts slowly, trusting that the wheat sown is good wheat, and will not succumb to the threats of the darnel. His reaction is a considered one, not knee-jerk. He does not retaliate against his enemy, nor does he react in a way that would damage the good wheat that he sowed. Instead, he waits, and trusts.

The good seed, the subjects of the Kingdom of God, will need to grow amongst the bad, but his loving, watchful eye looks over all, and he knows the depths of the heart.

Point to Ponder

“The Lord is help, defence and salvation; as a shield he protects the person who entrusts himself to him and enables him to lift his head in the gesture of triumph and victory. Man is no longer alone, his foes are not invincible as they had seemed, for the Lord hears the cry of the oppressed and answers from the place of his presence, from his holy hill.”

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, Wednesday, 7 September 2011.