16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 19/7/2020 - Gospel: Mt 13: 24-30
Wheat and Darnel
A farmer sowed good wheat on his farm. The servants noticed there was darnel growing alongside the wheat. They asked the Master where the darnel came from. The Master explained, that it was the work of His enemy.  The servants asked for permission to uproot the darnel, but the Master told them to wait, because uprooting the darnel now would hurt the wheat. At the harvest time, the darnel would be burnt, and the wheat stored. (13:28-30). Jesus' disciples asked him to explain the meaning of the parable. He told them "The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one , the enemy who sowed them, the devil, the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels" (13:37-39).

The difference between darnel and wheat was noticed, not when the plants were young, but at the full- grown time. It is extremely hard to judge a person's heart by observing his or her appearance.  Every society has both good, and not so good people. Every congregation has both saint and sinner worshipping at the same Church. In our frustration, we sometimes wonder: Why God, in His omnipotence, allows criminals to keep harming others'. God knows the movements of each individual's heart. If God had destroyed those who sinned against God; then the entire world would be a barren place. The reality is, that no one is criminal through and through, and no virtuous is free from sins. The difference is that known criminals were caught; while others were not yet (wait till the harvest time). Some acts of sin are visible, and obvious; others are hidden deep in a person's heart. The common trend is, that sinners feel at home with vices, and are slow to repent; while the virtuous try hard in fighting against temptations, and are quick to repent. Imperfect is what we all are. Christ's disciples try to improve their lives by means of eliminating vices, and enriching their lives with Christian virtues.  Uprooting a vice requires great courage, and it hurts, because like the roots of wheat and darnel are mixed; the root of sin and virtues are intertwined in our heart. To avoid being burnt in fire, it is wise to uproot bad habits right now. Waiting till the end time is too late. 

The conclusion of the parable reveals, that evil doers are destroyed, and the virtuous are rewarded. God's angels, not human beings, carry out the work. Wheat and darnel were sown in the same field. The wheat was sown in day light, and the darnel was sown at night, in the dark. They grew alongside each other. Jesus' parable makes clear that uprooting the grown darnel damages the wheat. One needs to be clear about the differences between uprooting the darnel, and removing vices out of a person's heart. Uprooting the darnel means to remove, to kill the whole plant together, leave nothing behind. Eliminating vices means to clean, to purify a person's heart. It doesn't kill a person, only vices. The heart is not weakened, but strengthened. The wise choice is 'burning' right now whatever causes us to sin. It is easier, and less painful to uproot them while they are young. It is painful, but we save our soul. Waiting till the harvest time for God's angels to act, we will lose everything, both body and soul.