FR. TERRY RYAN, CSP
MATTHEW 13: 24-32
AUGUST 23, 2017
I sometimes wonder if my big sister, Maureen, is in purgatory or not. Why? Well, I figured she was pretty bossy with her little brother. But today’s gospel says don’t be so quick to judge. Our judgment of another person is our opinion. It generally is based upon what we think is good/bad. No one would ever plant a mustard seed in a field of grain or fruit trees. That seed will only amount to a bush, a large obtrusive and rather ugly bush that takes up space. That is one opinion. The birds have another opinion. They choose to dwell there and not in the seemingly big, and beautiful fruit trees.
The type of weed that is planted in the field looks at first just like the wheat. So don’t be too quick to judge. Leave things be and see how it all works out. That is God’s job. What is the point of all this? Think of the communities you prefer for your own worship, dwelling, or comfort zone. Is it a group of people very similar to how you see yourself? Many worship communities seem to migrate to people of similar likeness. If someone dissimilar tries to enter or join, people tend to shun or ignore the newcomer, and thereby make a judgment. Some people would prefer a smaller, “purer” community, while Jesus seems to hang out with all kinds of people who are judged to be the “wrong crowd” by some religious authorities.
The Kingdom of God is made up of all kinds of people and we need to be more broadly welcoming, and inviting. Broaden our horizons.
And if you yourself sometimes feel that you are an odd type, and don’t fit in, remember that is just your opinion. God might very well have a different opinion. Allow yourself, as you are, to do a kind act today for someone else. I have found differences tend to fade with kindness.