Proper 11 – Year A

Genesis 28:10-19a; Psalm 139:1-11, 22-23; (or Wisdom of Solomon 12-13, 16-19 or Isaiah 44:6-8; Psalm 86:11-17); Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

“What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left.  O let them be left wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.” – Gerard Manley Hopkins.

                The field has good seed and weeds growing together.  This parable has been misused for dualistic we/they thinking that the good seed is the church and we Christians, and the weeds are all the other people.  For now we all live together in this life.  However, come God’s final harvest at the end of the age we good people will go to heaven and the others will burn.  What arrogant rubbish!   The reality is that in each and every one of us can be found good seed and weeds.  There are no weedless people.  Our life long struggle is not so much with some evil enemy out there, but with ourselves.  Paul said that he does not understand his own actions.  Even this great saint does the evil he does not want. (Romans 7:15-21)  Because of this mixture within each of us, Paul in today’s reading says we, together with all of creation, are groaning in labor pains. (Romans 8:22-23)  In just three verses beyond today’s assigned reading (Romans 8:28) Paul tells us the solution: God makes all things work for good.  All things!  Weeds!  Our weeds!  This burning of the weeds that the Gospel parable speaks of is not their destruction but their transformation into wildflowers.  After the transformation the new born weeds are enduring as any gardener knows; and now endearing.  Our weeds give us strength.  The good seeds together with the weeds, wet and wild, within us are what give us character.  We characters are what God rejoices in.  We can now also rejoice in each other, weeds and all.  So, as Jesus was fond of saying: Now that’s what the kingdom of heaven is like!

Greek

                The weeds spoken of in today’s Gospel have a technical Latin name: lolium.  You don’t want lolium growing with your crops.  It is a species of grass which infects cornfields in southern countries.  The Greek word is sometimes translated tare or darnel.  It resembles wheat.  The Greek word even sounds bad: “zidzania.”

Haiku

Wet and wild we yet.

May our weeds be wildflowers.

Worth yet the groaning.

 

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