Homily – July 19, 2020

I think a general feeling among all of us is impatience. We’re all ancy with all these restrictions about social distancing. We’re getting tired with mask wearing. There are so many restrictions on where we can travel and going to bars and restaurants and beaches. It hasn’t been a fun or relaxing summer.

Those in authority whether in government of the medical field keep asking us to wait, wait til things are safe, think of others wellbeing. If we want any proof of the need to be patient, our need to think about the whole picture we have only to look south of the border and see the growing number of those with the virus, the growing number of deaths all because of the mentality that ‘no one can tell me what to do.’ The resistance to be patient.

The basic message of today’s gospel is a call for patience. Sure the farmer is angry that an enemy has spread weeds in his new sown field. Who wouldn’t be? The solution is not to start tearing out the weeds, the solution is the farmer’s wise decision to let weeds and wheat grow together and then, when the time comes he’ll reap two harvests – one of fuel, the weeds and one of food, the wheat.

Let both grow together until the harvest. There was a picture of a scruffy little guy with what looked like a black eye and a band aid on his knee and a caption that read; God’s not finished with me yet.’

God’s not finished with any of us yet. When we try to root out the weeds we see in other people we’re like those anxious workers who want to get to work on the weeds, dig them out and throw them away. God tells us wait. Our righteous judgemental way of doing things could do more harm than good. As Jesus warned us; with the same severity with which we judge others, we will be judged. When have the honesty to admit our own weeds of impatience, resentments, pride, self-indulgence, bigotry and racism, our indifference to the needs of others, we know these are the weeds we need to uproot. If you have any experience of gardening you know that weeds can be persistent.

We have to remember this; our many weeds don’t really agree with your inner self. None of the weeds growing in us are wonderful, but they are only a part of who we are. Our urge to impress others falsely, to get what we want no matter what, to be lazy, petulant, or whatever, these are not the full description of who we are. There is strong and healthy wheat growing in us.

We all live with the reality that the good we would do we do not and that the evil we would not do that we do. It’s our human condition. Our consolation is that God is not finished with anyone of us. As our first reading reminds us;

With great forbearance you govern us – that our righteous must be kind “Your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all” We must never tire of the difficult task of weeding.