Weeding Out Evil

Matthew 13: 36-43
Ex 33:7-11,34:5-9,28 / Ps 103

The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
(Matthew 13:38-39)

No evil seeds sown will prevail,
God’s Word exposed the greatest liar,
His scheming deeds are known to fail,
His destiny is eternal fire.

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are the angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:36-43)

Reflection

Today’s Gospel reading about the Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat explains the seeming prevalence of evil in the world, simultaneous with the growth of Christianity throughout the ages. Only the assurance of our Lord Jesus gives us hope that in the end, good will prevail, and evil will be consigned to eternal fire.

On a smaller scale, perhaps this parable also applies to the situation happening in some renewal communities today. It is there where the Word of God is sown and nurtured, and the love among brothers and sisters makes everyone comfortable and complacent. And then the devil comes to sow ill will and intrigues in the community, and soon the enmities fester. Some of the members want to take drastic action, such as alienating or ostracizing the mavericks in the group. Fortunately, prudence and cooler heads prevail, realizing that it is better to wait and clarify issues than to hurt anyone and destroy good relationships. Soon, opposing parties come to accept their differences, and conclude that the issues involved are petty and far outweighed by love and understanding. Everyone involved is enriched by the experience, and the bonds of brotherhood are restored in the community.

This is an important lesson that can be gleaned from this parable. Satan is a wily and consummate destroyer. St. Paul’s letter warns us: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12) In our mission to serve the Lord and win souls for His kingdom, we cannot expect the devil to sit around and do nothing. He will do everything to derail God’s plan in our community. He will try to discourage and demoralize us to counter the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He will try to convince us that as sinners, our situation is hopeless. He will even try to hamper our ministry for the Lord by exploiting our weaknesses, such as inciting biases against each other. The devil will employ tactics to destroy our fellowship with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters. But in the end, even the enmity that he sows in our community God will put to good use, and instead of destroying our community, in the end it will only divide us into two communities.

Help us, Lord to stand firm amidst all the conflicts and false teachings sprouting all around us. We know that we need to be well grounded in Your truth; inspire us to make reading the Bible and meditating on Your Word a daily habit, and to receive our Lord Jesus Christ constantly in the Holy Eucharist for our nourishment and strength. Amen.

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