“No, when you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let them just grow together”

Matthew 13:29

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Matthew 13:24-30

This little parable offers us an opportunity to reflect on the weeds and wheat in our lives. We see these opposites and feel the tension between them in ourselves: strength and weakness, sinfulness and righteousness, good and bad, struggle and joy, loss and again, missed opportunities and new horizons, life and death.  

Many of us are taught, from a young age, that we need to be perfect. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to weed out imperfections in ourselves. We believe that if we are not perfect, we will not be accepted or loved. We fight the bad and struggle to enjoy the good; count the losses, and do not see the gains. We can spend so much time trying to root out the weeds that we damage the wheat or, at worst, don’t even notice it. We can become obsessed.

The sower in the parable instructs his workers not to pull out the weeds – this seemed the most obvious thing to do! Is Jesus suggesting that opposites can grow together? Perhaps Jesus believed that opposites should grow together.

All of us are a mixture of weeds and wheat. None of us is perfect. 

Jesus is telling us that God sowed good seed – each of us is good seed. In our journey through life, some weed will sprout. We should not be disturbed by this. The best soil will always be home not just for good seed but some weeds too. Jesus doesn’t deny the weeds, but they are not his focus. We, like the sower, must focus on the wheat – the gifts and talents that the Lord has given us, our goodness – and not allow our energy to be depleted by the weeds. Too much attention to the weed means that we either damage or lose sight of the wheat.

What weeds have become the focus of your life? Can you see the wheat, the goodness, in yourself? How will you cultivate the wheat in your life rather than worry about the weeds?

Lord God,
I feel the tension of opposites in my life. I know that there are weeds. I am not perfect. You are not afraid of the weeds that grow in me. Give me the grace to live from the wheat, the goodness in me, rather than focus on the weeds. I am good seed. You love me as I am.

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
See more from Russell Pollitt SJ
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