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Sunday of the Sixteen Week in Ordinary Time

“ 'Do you want us to go and pull them (the weeds) up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’ “ (From Matthew 13:24-43)

If there’s one reality that comes to mind for me today, it’s, “we’re all a work in progress. God isn’t done with any of us yet!” The parable of the weeds and the wheat is symbolic of 2 aspects of life: first, there are bad people in the world. There indeed are people who are consciously selfish and consciously hurt others. Along with this, there are also “things” in the world that are bad for us: bad behaviors, things that harm our health, and so on. For today’s reflection, however, the parable is symbolic of the reality that the kingdom of God here on earth is very much a mixed bag. All of us are weak and frail in some way, at times appearing to others more like weeds than wheat. Identify for yourself one person in your life who needs more patience from you. When the owner of the field says, “no, let them grow together until harvest,” this translates for us into, “be patient with one another. Take a deep breath along the way. Give each other a chance.”

None of us would be where we are today if it were not, in large part, for those along the way who did just that for us. Parents, for example, often take a deep breath and look at their child and are reminded, “He, she is a work in progress.” How many people have done this for me throughout my life! We grow together until the great harvest, the resurrection. In the meantime, we take our time with each other. We do take a deep breath. And we allow each other to grow into what God has created us to be.

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