Today’s gospel is about the farmer who sowed wheat in his field and at night his enemy sowed weeds in the same field so when the plants sprouted there were weeds among the wheat. When his slaves asked the farmer about removing the weeds, the farmer told them pulling the weeds could pull up some of the wheat so wait until harvest when they could be separated without losing the wheat.
My interpretation of this parable is that I am the field and God has sown the wheat within me, but there are weeds among the wheat. God will not pull the weeds of my field because I have a free will. God will always provide the love and support that I need, but it is up to me to choose to nourish my relationship with God so it becomes stronger and crowds out the weeds.
While preparing this reflection, I am on a couples’ retreat. It is a perfect time and setting to work on nourishing my relationship with God and with my husband. The facility, St. Benedict’s retreat center, is beautiful and constructed to last for hundreds of years in the midst of vast farm fields. The fields have been planted with good seed, but as in Jesus’ parable, there are also weeds growing among the crops.
It rained earlier in the day, but now the sun is shining and there is a gentle breeze. I am sitting on the patio which borders a section of a large pond with a greater than life-like statue of St. Benedict in its midst and a fountain to keep the water fresh. The fountain produces the constant sound of running water. Birds fly gracefully over the water and occasionally land on St. Benedict’s head all the while singing their songs. The combination of the birds’ songs and the running water makes a calming music that is softly punctuated with the indecipherable words of the couples talking softly about their unique relationship with God and the graces experienced in this beautiful and peaceful setting. The good seed sown by God in each of these individuals is growing stronger and crowding out the weeds this weekend. At the same time, each couple is growing in their shared spirituality which strengthens their marital union.
These are couples who are completing their second year of formation for the Permanent Diaconate along with the formation team of Deacon couples from the Diocese of Des Moines. Please keep these candidate couples in your prayers as they continue their formation journey toward ordination. And let’s pray that we will each nourish the good seed within us so that it becomes increasingly strong and crowds out the weeds.
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