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16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: MT 13: 24-43

In the gospel parable, Jesus explains that the wheat and the weeds are like the faithful ones and those who are unfaithful. Both will grow together in the field, but at harvest time – the last day – the angels of God will reward the faithful ones, but banish the evil ones. Each one of us is a combination of wheat and weeds. One thing strikes me in the parable is that the servant asked the master, “Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?” The servants were very quick to offer a solution to get rid of the weeds. Sometimes we are like these servants without knowing the real truth we are in passing judgment on others, we are condemning others and we become harsh and impatient with others. We think that we are the “wheat” and we forget the truth that we are also the “weeds.” We should admit that we all have different kinds of weeds in our lives, the weeds of selfishness, pride, greed, ego and so on…

The important thing we can notice is that in the parable, Jesus did not want to pull the weeds right away. Jesus allowed the weeds to grow with the wheat. Which means, Jesus does not force His will upon us, but Jesus is always ready to forgive our sinfulness. Jesus accepts our human weakness and struggles. But we need to change certain attitudes and ways of life. Jesus gives us not only a second chance but countless chances to become a better person. The most important thing Jesus is telling us through this parable: “Do not judge others based on their appearances or actions without knowing them.”

Let me share with you a small story: Once, there was a young mother, who was traveling on a bus with her 10-year-old boy and the mother saw that the boy was looking through the windows to the outside. The boy suddenly shouted and said, “Mom, look at the trees: they are going behind us.” His Mom smiled! Again, the boy shouted and said, “Mom, look at the clouds: they are running with us.” There was another person in the bus watching and listening to the boy. The man was a little bit irritated; he could not resist and he said to the mother, “Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” Then the mother smiled and said to him, “We are coming from a hospital. My son has been blind from birth and he just got his eyesight today and with his new eyesight he sees everything different.”

This small story reminds us: Never judge someone without knowing the whole story. We may think we understand everything but we do not. Each person has his or her own stories. We should not judge others before we truly know them. The truth might surprise us! In our own human nature, we have a tendency to judge and we make unnecessary comments about other people without knowing the truth. It is not good for us to condemn or judge others without any reason. If we are good and clean inside of our lives, we will see good things in others. Let us try to not judge others, especially if we are clouded by jealousy, negativity, or unfulfilled desires. Do not forget that there is a saying, “When you point one finger at another person, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”

God wants us to take a good look in the field of our own lives to see what is growing within us. Let us pull out the “weeds” in our own lives. First of all, we need to be patient with ourselves. We may not get everything done perfectly but we should accept our own weaknesses and limitations and leave them to God, and trust in God’s power. Also, we must be patient with others by lovingly treating the “weeds” in them and understanding and accepting others as our brothers and sisters. We are chosen to be the wheat, rather than the weeds. God is still at work! Let us remember the words of St. Mother Teresa, “If we are judging another person, we don’t have the time to love the other person.”