Rolling Up the Sleeves and Gathering the Sheaves
Author: Father Robert DeCesare, LC | Source: Catholic.Net
Jesus proposed another parable to them. "The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn."'
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your Church. I believe that it is the sacrament of salvation, and that you have chosen to lead me to heaven. Lord, I hope in you. I hope in you because you have gone to prepare a place for me in heaven. Lord, I love you because you loved me first. I love you for giving yourself up for me on the cross.
Petition: Forgive me, Lord, for offending you, and help me to make reparation.
1. Verdant Farm or Barren Wasteland? Lord, you have given me the gift of Baptism and of being your child. “Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1216). This gift you have given me is something that I do not deserve. I was born with original sin, and yet, out of your infinite goodness and mercy, you have chosen to nourish my barren field and offer me the Kingdom of heaven. Through the life-giving waters of the sacrament of Baptism, you have taken my field that used to be wasteland and desert and have made it flourish. You have sown wheat in my field so that it may yield abundant fruit.
2. A Tainted Field? Lord, even though you have grafted me into your family through Baptism, there are times when I forget the goal of my life, which is heaven. I am weak, and because of my weakness, at times I taint my field with weeds. “Certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, ‘the tinder for sin’ (fomes peccati); since concupiscence ‘is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ.’ Indeed, ‘an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1264).
3. God Never Gives Up On Me: Lord, even though I have let weeds grow in my field where there was once only wheat, you have given me time to let the good grain grow. You know that all is not lost. There is still hope, and there is still time. Even though I have offended you because of my sins, and even though I have not conquered myself and my tendency to sin, I still experience your love and your mercy. You have not given up on me, although it seems to me that I have often given up on myself. You have given me the gift of time for me to weed my field and to increase the good wheat that is within it, so that the harvest I bear may be fruitful and rich.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for the gift of your mercy. Thank you for being patient with me, for loving me for who I am, and for encouraging me to continue to grow as I should.
Resolution: I shall take some time to prepare to make a good confession.