Cycle A 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Wis. 12:13, 16-19; Rom. 8:26-27; Mt. 13:24-43

Today we reflect on a profound parable of Jesus Christ—the parable of the wheat and the weeds. In this story, Jesus presents a vivid picture of the kingdom of heaven, comparing it to a field in which good seed is sown. However, in the darkness of night, an enemy sneaks in and sows weeds among the wheat. As the parable unfolds, we witness a powerful message of discernment, perseverance, and trust in God's ultimate justice.

This parable has rich symbolism. The field represents the world in which we live—a world where both good and evil coexist. 

J. R. R. Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings" conveys the message of  co-existence of good and  evil.In this epic tale, the kingdom of Middle-earth can be seen as a representation of the kingdom of heaven. The forces of good, led by the

Fellowship of the Ring, strive to defeat the evil Dark Lord Sauron and bring peace and restoration to the land. 

In one particular scene, the wizard Gandalf shares a conversation with Frodo, the main protagonist. Frodo expresses his despair at the overwhelming power of evil and his fear that their mission to destroy the One Ring may fail. Gandalf responds with these words of wisdom: "I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."

Gandalf's words resonate deeply with the essence of Jesus' parable. Like the good seed sown in the field, the small everyday deeds of ordinary people, their acts of kindness and love, serve as a powerful force against the weeds of evil. In the face of darkness and despair, it is these small acts that bring hope, light, and the kingdom of heaven into the world.

However, just as the enemy sowed weeds among the wheat, we encounter the presence of evil in our lives and in the world. This evil can take various forms, such as injustice, hatred, and greed. It is crucial for us to recognize the reality of evil and understand that it poses a constant challenge to the growth of God's kingdom.

The Bible provides us with numerous examples of this coexistence of good and evil throughout history. 

Consider the story of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his own brothers. Yet, through God's providence, Joseph rose to prominence and eventually forgave his brothers, demonstrating the power of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Moses  led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Despite facing numerous challenges and opposition, including the stubbornness of Pharaoh, Moses remained faithful and obedient to God's commandments. He delivered God's law to the people and led them towards the Promised Land.

Furthermore, even Jesus Himself experienced the presence of evil. He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, and ultimately crucified by the hands of sinful men.

Similarly, in real life, there are individuals who embody the qualities of heroes, making positive contributions to society, while others may seek to undermine their efforts.

Malala is a real-life hero who stood up for girls' education. Despite facing opposition and threats  she continued to advocate for the rights of girls to receive an education. Her courage and determination brought global attention to the issue, leading to significant positive changes.

Nelson Mandela is widely regarded as a hero for his fight against apartheid in South Africa. Despite spending 27 years in prison, he remained steadfast in his commitment to equality and justice. 

Rosa Parks became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. Her act of resistance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and played a significant role in challenging racial segregation.

But what is our response to this coexistence of good and evil? The parable teaches us a valuable lesson: patience and discernment. The farmer in the story does not hastily uproot the weeds for fear of damaging the wheat. Instead, he allows both to grow together until the time of harvest. Similarly, in our quest for justice and righteousness, we might encounter situations where it is difficult to discern right from wrong, good from evil. 

We should remember that  our small acts of  kindness and love  have the potential to transform lives. We should recognize the power we hold within us to sow the seeds of love, compassion, and justice. With every gesture of forgiveness, every word of encouragement, and every act of service, we contribute to the  extension of goodness in this world and we participate in the redemptive work of God.