July 20, 2008 - Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
St. Jerome was a biblical scholar that is one of the saints appointed by God, and by the way, as we already know each saint is a sinner and each sinner has a chance to be a saint…agreed ?
St. Jerome was wondering the forest and he came upon a lion with a spur in his paw. The lion was in great pain and
St. Jerome felt for him.
St. Jerome took the lion to his house and removed the spur from his paw. He then cared for him until he was better. However, his friends kept warning him. That lion is no good. He will do you or someone harm if you keep him. One day a donkey was missing from the village and the lion was also gone. People immediately told
St. Jerome ; see we told you that lion was no good, he ate the donkey.
As it turned out, robbers had stolen the donkey and the lion jumped to its defense. The lion scared away the robbers and as the lion and donkey walked back to
St. Jerome ’s house a vision became apparent to all. Do not judge a weed a weed when in actuality it is wheat.
If we were to look at any garden is it not so obvious what are weeds and what wheat is. But we think we can judge this pretty easily as it applies to people and their motives. Hence the lesson in the Gospel today.
The book of wisdom is clear, there is but one God who is the judge of all but yet we try to play God so many times in our life by determining weeds from wheat. This is a very dangerous game to play. After all, think of the practical part of this. You may be out there pulling up weeds and in doing so you inadvertently pull up wheat because you cannot tell the difference.
In our second reading
St. Paul tells us that the spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. There are many weaknesses we have that we obviously should give in to. One weakness we need to pray for is to be blind when it comes to weeds and wheat. Ultimately, the obvious lesson here is that God is the only judge who knows the appointed time to harvest and all we can do, as with most things with God, is to mess it up by doing too much. Remain blind and let God do the work. Try instead to see the wheat in others and the weeds in yourself.
Finally, letting Jesus be the
Gardner makes sense in another way. He has His reason for keeping weeds around. If all the weeds of prejudice were gone then the wheat of compassion cannot grow as readily. If the weed of gluttony is gone totally then the wheat of sacrifice cannot grow as well as it should.
We must remain focused that God gives us the privilege to be in this garden of weeds and wheat. We will only prosper within it when we are open to and submissive to the spirit of the one whom knows all. After all, He looks down from a very good perspective to see everything He needs to see.