Scripture Reflection, July 23, 2023, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 Romans 8:26-27 Matthew 13:24-43
In today's gospel Jesus presents wheat and weeds growing in the same field. And then later in the gospel we are given an explanation that says “the field is the world, the good seed children of the kingdom”. It is at that point that we all want to assign ourselves the role of wheat! And we'd like to see others, those who differ with us, as weeds !
In national and state politics, even in the church, those tendencies infiltrate our discussions. “Those people” are just greedy, or small minded or misled. That is possible. It is also possible that they have different opinions because they have led different lives and their lived experience has shaped their thinking. Maybe dismissing them as weeds is too simple.
What if we understood the parable a little differently? What if we saw each of us as a field… with “wheat” and “weeds” growing together? Surely we admit that is true for us ourselves. What if we allowed that perception in our approach to those who differ with us? What if we assume that there is good in the other? What if we listened openly without agenda? What if our dialogue could be mutually respectful?
We have a tendency to want to sort the world into “good guys” and “bad guys”. But life as it is lived is more complicated than that.
That does not mean that we should accept injustice, hate, racism, or greed. Behaviors and speech that hurt others are evil and cooperation with evil is always wrong. But calling behavior and speech evil is different than calling the person who disagrees with us evil.
That determination is above our pay grade. And is best left in the hands of the Master.
by: Pat Schnee