First reading Jeremiah 7:1-11 

Reform your behaviour and I will stay here with you, says the Lord

The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord:
  ‘Go and stand at the gate of the Temple of the Lord and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who come in by these gates to worship the Lord. The Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will stay with you here in this place. Put no trust in delusive words like these: This is the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord! But if you do amend your behaviour and your actions, if you treat each other fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow (if you do not shed innocent blood in this place), and if you do not follow alien gods, to your own ruin, then here in this place I will stay with you, in the land that long ago I gave to your fathers for ever. Yet here you are, trusting in delusive words, to no purpose! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow alien gods that you do not know? – and then come presenting yourselves in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe – safe to go on committing all these abominations! Do you take this Temple that bears my name for a robbers’ den? I, at any rate, am not blind – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 83(84):3-6,8,11

How lovely is your dwelling-place, Lord, God of hosts.
 
My soul is longing and yearning,
  is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
  to God, the living God.
 
The sparrow herself finds a home
  and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars,
  Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
 
They are happy, who dwell in your house,
  for ever singing your praise.
They walk with ever-growing strength,
  they will see the God of gods in Zion.
 
One day within your courts
  is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
  I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.
 
 

Gospel Matthew 13:24-30

Let them both grow till the harvest

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’
 
 
____________________________________________
 

The darnel and the wheat together

In today’s gospel, the man who sowed good seed in his field did not want to remove the darnel, the weed, because the wheat might be removed in the process too. Thus, he allowed the darnel and the wheat to grow together.
 
Like the labourers, we too would like to go and weed out all the darnels that we see. We often look at some people in church or our faith community and want to weed them out because we consider them to be “darnels”. Today, Jesus calls us to be patient and not be too quick to exclude the “darnels” we see. Jesus never gives up on any of us despite our flaws. Thus, we must be patient and not exclude anyone because we see their limitations and faults. By the grace of God, we keep hoping that the ‘darnels’ can somehow be transformed into life-giving “wheat”. On our part, we must choose to be good wheat so that through our examples, we may bring people to Christ and Christ to people.
 
 
Question for reflection:
How can I look at those I tend to judge negatively with patience and love?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.