The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘Go and stand at the gate of the Temple of the Lord and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who come in by these gates to worship the Lord. The Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will stay with you here in this place. Put no trust in delusive words like these: This is the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord! But if you do amend your behaviour and your actions, if you treat each other fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow (if you do not shed innocent blood in this place), and if you do not follow alien gods, to your own ruin, then here in this place I will stay with you, in the land that long ago I gave to your fathers for ever. Yet here you are, trusting in delusive words, to no purpose! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow alien gods that you do not know? – and then come presenting yourselves in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe – safe to go on committing all these abominations! Do you take this Temple that bears my name for a robbers’ den? I, at any rate, am not blind – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
Jesus put another parable before the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’
“Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?”
In today’s Gospel, we read of the parable of the darnel. My friends, our faith, isn’t as simple as saying we are committed to God or that we surrender and that’s it. In fact, it would seem that the commitment is committing to a life of struggles, sacrifices, misunderstandings, ridicule.
But we can also see it as a process, as in the parable, where if we remove the darnel before harvest, we might pull up the wheat with it, and the wheat can’t then be harvested.
God is aware of all our struggles, the evil and temptations in our lives. What is important is to know that God sees all of us as ‘good seeds’ and that He desires to ‘harvest’ and ‘gather’ us into His barn.
While we are aware of our struggles and obstacles, we need to be aware of the times we ourselves allow ‘darnel’ into the harvest or when we ourselves are the ‘darnel’.
Our faith is far more than doing what is required of us. Our faith is that of a transformation and conversion of our lives internally. That we are not called to focus on the ‘darnel’ but focus on the sower, to know and trust that He knows what He is doing. That ultimately, it is for us to grow to our fullest potential and eventually return to Him.
Maybe today, we can also spend some time in prayer of what are some of the ‘darnel’ in our lives that we are always thinking of removing instead of overcoming. Where sometimes we try to resolve an issue or avoid a conflict by not speaking, however not addressing the main issue. We may feel then that the ‘darnel’ has been removed, but what actually happens is that it just simply pulls us along with it because we have not overcome.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for strength to fight not just against the superficial, but to delve deeper into our lives to address the inner hurts and issues, to want to reconcile. So that more than removing a problem or issue, we overcome it instead because it may return again. Help us to trust in You, for You know and understand us even more than we know ourselves.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for breaking down your message for us in parables. We give all glory to you. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.