In today’s gospel, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a man who sowed good seeds in His field. Then while everybody was asleep, his enemy came, sowed darnel among the wheat and left.
When the new wheat grew, the darnel appeared as well. When the servants saw this, they requested from their master to weed out the darnel.
The master said no so that they will not weed out the good seeds also. He asks that they should allow them to stay until the harvest time when the wheat will be gathered into the barn and the darnel removed and burnt into ashes.
Here we ask the question “how did the enemy know about the wheat that was sowed? What is the intention of the person who sowed the darnel?
In the first question, we can allude that the enemy must come from within and the intention could be to frustrate the good intentions of the sower.
In this gospel, the man intends to sow good seeds. The person who sowed the darnel is an enemy within. It is because of the work of this enemy within, that the man permitted that the darnel grows with the wheat, thereby putting the wheat into more challenges and struggles. The owner of the field allows this not because of the darnel but for the sake of the good seeds.
Hence, It is because of the enemy within that evil came to the world. It is also because of the enemy within that it looks as if evil is thriving and God seems to be silent.
The Sower who Sows Good Seeds.
In today’s Holy Gospel Jesus uses another agricultural setting to teach His disciples about the kingdom of God. In today’s parable, we have the sower, the field, the servants, the seeds, the sowing, the enemy who also sowed and the time of harvesting.
Yesterday, we had one sower and today we have two sowers; the one who sows the good and the one who sows the evil. In today’s gospel and reflection, one can talk about many things.
We can talk about God’s love and patience, we can talk about the time of judgement etc. But in today’s reflection, let us think in another direction.
This parable talks about an enemy that sows evil when the original sower intends to sow good.
After creation, God looks at all He created and concludes that what He does is good (Genesis 1:31). This explains the fact that God’s intentions for us are always for the good. It is because of our welfare that the Father sends His Son to come and suffer for our sake.
Jesus uses this parable to also tell us that there is an enemy within, who also has sowed his seeds, trying to frustrate God’s intentions.
This parable explains the reason we encounter challenges, the presence of evil in the world and the need to stand strong until the last day.
Therefore, never think that God hates you and God is frustrating you. God loves you. Therefore we have to depend totally on Him and prepare for the enemy within.
The Enemy Within.
Although the parable is trying to answer the problematic question of why evil exists in the world, we can also understand through this parable that there is always an enemy within.
The enemy that sowed the bad seed was not known. The enemy knows where the field is. He goes on to plan on how to frustrate the intentions of the owner of the field.
In the same way, we have to know that there is always an enemy within whose function is to spy whatever good things that you do.
Like the enemy in the gospel, you may not know them. They may be among those who come close to you. When you do good, they will go out and say all bad things about you just to paint your image negative.
Therefore, there is always an enemy within who does not like whatever good things that you do. Sometimes you pray that God comes to your help but it looks as if God is keeping silent.
In today’s gospel, you will see that the owner of the field allows both seeds to grow. God may have allowed it to show the enemy within that He is with you and there is nothing He can do. God may have also allowed it to show you how loving He is to you.
The enemy among us does not like to see any good thing that you do. Our enemy within will try to plant hatred in the minds of other people against you. And he will do everything within his power to frustrate all your efforts, but despite that, there is always a day of reckoning.
The Time the Enemy Comes.
In today’s parable, Jesus says that when the owner of the field is planting His seeds, the enemy did not come. When they were awake, the enemy was nowhere to be found but immediately they went into sleep, that was the time the enemy struck.
The time of sleeping is the time we think nothing is happening. It is those times we become weak to pray. The time of sleeping is the time we think everything is moving fine and we think everybody is on your side. Hence, you decide not to worry about anything. These are those times you forget about your spiritual life and relationship with God and focus only on pleasure.
When the enemy sees that your spiritual strength is down, when he sees you are very lazy and weak to pray, he comes in at that time to sow his seeds. When the enemy feels you no longer suspect him or her, he or she will quietly be doing his mission.
This is why Jesus tells us to watch and pray so that we shall not enter into temptations (Matthew 26:41). And Paul advises us to devote ourselves to pray always and be vigilant (Colossians 4:2). So we have to always be on the alert, because the devil and his agents are prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking who to devour ( 1 Peter 5:8).
Wheat and Weeds.
In today’s gospel Matthew uses the Greek term zizania, which is a term that refers to the genus of wild rice grasses. Many call it darnel or cockle.
This particular weed grows very well in the land of Israel at that time and is very well known. It resembles real wheat. The only way to distinguish between them is when the plants mature and the ears appear. It is said that when the ears begin to drop, the ears of the real wheat are always heavy and will drop but the ears of the darnel will stand up straight.
1.First this explains God’s intentions to permit evil in the world, He does not want to destroy the good as he destroys the evil. He also gives us time to repent. Therefore this first shows how loving and patient our God is.
2. Allowing the wheat and weeds also explains why good people always go through a lot of challenges. The weeds will always provide strong competition to the wheat because they are growing on the same soil. So remember this whenever you are passing through challenges.
3. The wheat and weed resemble, which shows that sometimes we may not truly know who is with us and against us. They may pretend to be friends but they are not. Like the weeds, they are green snakes in green grasses. They may come to laugh and play with you but gradually work behind the scenes. From the way they appear, you may not know that they are an enemy within.
4. In this parable, Jesus reminds us also that there is a time of judgement and a time of reckoning. Evil will not reign forever. There is always a day we must answer for everything we have done. Hence, God will reward each one according to His deeds.
You may be reigning today and think that power is in your hands, hence you are frustrating the innocent. Do not forget the day of reckoning. One day everything hidden will be exposed.
If you are also going through persecutions, never lose hope in God. Be watchful and pray hard, in season and out of season. Like the wheat that is welcomed into the barn, Joy also comes at last.
May God help us and give us the grace to conquer all our challenges. May He also expose the enemy within and give us the strength to remain strong amid the challenges of this life. Amen.