230723 - Crumbs from the Table of the Lord

The usual way of interpreting the story of the landowner who sows good seed in his field suggests that in the world there are good people (the wheat) who will go to heaven and bad people (the weeds) who are destined for the bonfire. Even John the Baptist expected Jesus to separate the cream from the skim, the wheat from the chaff, to have only holy people around him.

 And of course we see ourselves in the weeds category and resign ourselves to a miserable fate.  But if we were to look at the story from a slightly different point of view, this is how the story could go:

The field represents the ‘ground of being’ which goes to make up each individual, and the wheat planted in us becomes the good deeds, the virtues and qualities that make us who we are.  But no person is completely good because we have flaws and blinkers that prevent us from reaching our full potential.  So we have weeds growing in us as well.  Sometimes the weeds overwhelm us, but generally they co-exist with our better moments and we turn out to be not too bad a human being.  God is the owner who says “Let the two grow together until harvest time”.  And when that time comes, the good in us that has been pushing up green shoots in spite of ourselves gets gathered into the barn – and we with it -, and the weeds,(all the things we are embarrassed or ashamed about) gets thrown into the fire and consumed in its cleansing flame.

The parable of the weeds is starkly simple and yet widely ignored. To the question “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” the answer of Jesus is a categorical “No.” And the reason is self-evident. Only God has eyes sufficiently discerning and fingers sufficiently gentle for this job. Weeding out is God’s prerogative. Life would be so much better for everybody, if only we would leave it to him.