But though you are master of might,
you judge with clemency,
and with much lenience you govern us…
And you taught your people, by these deeds,
that those who are just must be kind…
Don’t forget our Summer Gatherings on July 28th, 29th, & 30th. We will have a simple dinner starting at 6:00 p.m. If you can’t be there for the dinner, come to the presentation that will begin about 6:45. This year our topic is Mary. Our presenter is Biagio Mazza. I’m looking forward to it and hope to see you there.
Our Gospel today has more parables of Jesus. Sometimes people try to pull more out of the parable than what is intended. John Martens makes this point in his reflection in America on today’s first parable about the wheat and the weeds.
Sometimes students ask whether this parable indicates predestination, whether some people are weeds and other people are wheat from the beginning, but this pushes too hard against the metaphoric quality of parables. Plants are plants and people are people. The point of Jesus’ parable is not that some people are made evil from the beginning, in their roots, but that the church is a corpus mixtum of sinners and saints. It is impossible to know who represents the wheat and who represents the weeds, and human attempts to judge someone a “weed” in advance of God’s judgment are bound to fail because of the partial nature of our knowledge and decisions.
It seems that in this parable the church is being cautioned to patience and tolerance with those whom we are just aching to condemn. All of us are in fact a corpus mixtum, created good but with proclivities to our own peculiar sins. None of us are wheat without God’s help, and the improper rush to create a pure church, excluding those who do not sin the same way we do, or not think like us, is bound to fail. We must patiently allow God to work in us as we prepare for the end of the age.
The Book of Wisdom (today’s first reading) tells us that God judges with clemency and that we who are just must be kind. I think of the times this week where kindness would have served me better than the approach that I took. I am reminded to let God be God (the judge) and let me be his faithful disciple.