Beware the sower of tares
Updated: Mar 25
The Parable of the Wheat and Tares can be a difficult parable, but if we have mastered the parable about parables, then it is possible to come to a proper understanding of Christ's teaching.
St. Augustine admonishes the Christians of his day, who, when faced with the decline of the Roman Empire, bear a great similarity with our cultural decline. He writes,
O you Christians, whose lives are good, you sigh and groan as being few among many, few among very many. The winter will pass away, the summer will come; lo! The harvest will soon be here. The angels will come who can make the separation, and who cannot make mistakes. ... I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themselves, and imitate the good. Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us all through His mercy escape the evil of this world. Let us seek after good days, for we are now in evil days; but in the evil days let us not blaspheme, that so we may be able to arrive at the good days.
Matthew Henry in his commentary on this passage notes,
This parable represents the present and future state of the gospel church; Christ's care of it, the devil's enmity against it, the mixture there is in it of good and bad in this world, and the separation between them in the other world. ... Though gross transgressors, and such as openly oppose the gospel, ought to be separated from the society of the faithful, yet no human skill can make an exact separation. Those who oppose must not be cut off, but instructed, and that with meekness.
So it is that in the community of God and Christ's "ecclesia," there will be wheat and tares, and while we are here on earth, it is "sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them." This is why we must be skillful with the Word of God, which is able to pierce and divide. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). This is also a good reminder to be awake and vigilant, alert to the field of our own souls. For the Wheat and Tares parable reminds us that it's not just the soil of our minds and hearts that we must be careful about. It is possible that while we were sleeping the "enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way" (Matt. 13:24-30). In the "moral" sense of this parable, the field of our hearts must be guarded, that bad seed not be sown among the good.
In light of this, let us pray the collect for the third Sunday in Lent:
Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Agenda for the WEEK:
Prayer & Catechism
Begin Biblical Study of "Parables"
Read Matthew 13 and begin studying the Parable of the Sower
Work on Parable Worksheets
Finish and turn in Parable of the Tares Worksheet (due 3/23)
Finish Parable of the Sower Worksheet (due 3/24)
Thursday — Discuss the Parable of the Sower
Friday — Discuss the Kingdom Parables
Begin Agamemnon by Aeschylus
Tuesday (3/22) — read up to page 129
Wednesday (3/23) — read Agamemnon page 148
Add to the Agamemnon questions
Thursday (3/24) — read Agamemnon page 168
Thursday (3/24) — finish Agamemnon
Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Pray, that you may not stumble.
Study Orestes Notes and Themes for Friday quiz.
Beware the sower of tares.