Fr. Oscar Saldivar •
Once more, the Liturgy of the Word presents us a selection of Jesus’ parables, and in fact, today´s Gospel (Mt.13: 24-43) contains three parables. We are used to hearing them and trying to understand their message. However, what does it mean for us that Jesus chooses to teach in parables?
At least two things: Jesus shows us that the daily routine, the daily language of man and his reality, can speak about God and his Kingdom. “Using imagery from situations of daily life, the Lord “wants to show us the real ground of all things… He shows us… the God who acts, who intervenes in our lives, and want to take us by the hand.” God is not far from of our daily routines and concerns. It is we who are sometimes unable to relate to God in our daily life.
On the other hand, this nearness of God to us means that we have to learn, over and over, to perceive God´s serene and constant presence in our midst, because “…the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.” (Mt 13:31-32) Yes, the Kingdom of Heaven is present in the small things of our life, and thus, we can pass it by without noticing it.
“A man sowed good seed in his field”
Therefore we must always strive to be constantly in the presence of God. We must always be in touch with the living God who has sown his good seed in the field of our hearts (cf. Mt. 13:24).
Yes, we know that our Heavenly Father has sowed his good seed in our life and in our heart. We know it by our own experience: we have received the seed of the Christian faith in Baptism. Along in our life, and with the help of our families and communities, we have nourished this Christian faith through the Sacraments, and with time, each one of us has borne fruit and renewed his faith in Jesus sealing a Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother.
So we too, looking at our life can say: “God has sowed good seed in the field of my life and of my heart.” And we should be grateful for this.
However, it is also true that many times we experience within ourselves the bad seed, the weeds of selfishness and sin that leads to sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. In those times within ourselves, we ask to the Lord: “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?” (Mt.13: 27)
“Did you not sow good seed in your field?”
So what to do when we experience these weeds in our heart’s field? The Gospel prevents us from impatience and hurry. Sometimes we want to be like the servants of the field and immediately pull up the weeds (cf. Mt 13:28). However the Lord says: “No, if you pull up the weeds you may 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 weed and tie them in bundles fur burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Mt 13: 28-30)
That is why our Founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, says that when confronted with our own weaknesses and sins we don’t have to be surprised about them; we don’t have to get confused; we don’t have to become discouraged; and we don’t have to get used to them.
Yes, we have to recognize that the weed is there, it is in our heart and in our life, but this does not mean that we have to abandon our pursuit of holiness, our pursuit of a fullness of life. If we do so, that means that we have let ourselves be confused by our sins and discouraged by them.
Let us not forget that –as Pope Francis says- “with Christ, joy is constantly born anew”. So we can always begin anew. Day to day, we have to allow the good seed within us to grow greater and stronger than the weeds. We do this by being honest with ourselves and through self-education.
Self-education is the means we have to improve ourselves with the help of God´s grace. God has sowed in us his good seed, but we need to take care of the field of our hearts in order to –at the right time- pull up the weeds by letting the wheat grow and be fruitful.
Part of our self-education is, in a positive way, learning to handle our own weaknesses and sins. In order to do this, Fr. Kentenich invites us to transform ourselves in a “fourfold miracle”. Through our own weaknesses –and with the help of the Blessed Mother– we must first become a miracle of humility, secondly a miracle of trust, thirdly a miracle of patience, and fourthly a miracle of love.
Humility and love help us to always begin anew in our pursuit of sanctity and fullness of life. Humility allows us to look to ourselves with serenity and maturity, and to be aware of the things we need to work on in our personality. Humility and trust in the mercy of God allows us to be aware of the weeds in the field of our heart.
Love is the driving force that allows us to get out of our selfishness and solitude, and to go to the encounter of God and our brothers. Love is the driving force of our soul that will help us to nourish the good seed in our heart. Love is like the “…yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened…” (Mt. 13:33)
That is why each day we want to rekindle our love. That is why each day, we turn to Mary, our Mother Thrice Admirable, and full of confidence and hope we say:
“We want to mirror ourselves in your image
and seal our covenant of love anew.
Make us, your instruments, like you in everything
and through us build Schoenstatt everywhere.” Amen.