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We live in a world that demands instant results: we want instant coffee and instant meals that ‘ping’ in the microwave.  With the arrival of the internet, we want instant shopping and get upset when it doesn’t arrive on time.  And it’s the same on the wider scale when we see worldwide problems: with the advent of social media and apps, we can organise a political gathering instantly and seek for an instant solution to whatever political crisis has arisen in the world.  We live in a world that seeks instant problems.

 

 

 

Yet that is not a modern phenomenon – even in first century Palestine they had the same hope …. Instant solutions to daily problems.  The background to today’s Gospel was that there was great political fall-out from the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.  People felt that it was the end of the world and looked to their political leaders to provide instant solutions.  Those solutions never came and people felt good was living beside evil.  On top of that the emerging Christian community was getting worked up about the fact that not all Jews were converting to Christianity and wondered what they should do about it.  People accepting the Son of God beside people who rejected Jesus.

 

 

 

The parable comes to us in that context: what to do about goodness sitting beside badness – acceptance of Jesus’ message beside rejection of it.  Or as the image has it, what to do about good seed beside bad seed or wheat beside the weeds?  The servants in the parable wanted to dig up the whole field almost and start again but the owner cautions for Patience: let them grow beside one another, notice that they are weeds and then at the harvest they can be separated from the wheat.

 

 

 

The message for you and for me is quite clear.  We know that goodness and badness sit side by side in the world: we know this on world scale as we see peace sitting beside war and violence.  We know it on a local community scale and in our families as we see harmony sitting side by side fallouts and actions that cause harm.  And we see it within our own hearts: sinful ways sitting side by side our very good intentions. 

 

 

 

What does the parable encourage us to do?  Firstly we are called to recognise that weeds, recognise the sinful ways and the loving ways.  Call each action for what it is.  Then we are called to be PATIENT, not to panic but to TRUST that, if we stick to our loving, hopeful and peaceful ways, God’s purpose will win out in the end.

 

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