5TH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY THE GOSPEL MATT.13:24-30.SATURDAY MEDITATION
GOSPEL Matt. 13:24-30
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming said to him. 'Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then hath it cockle?' And he said to them: 'An enemy hath done this.' And the servants said to him: 'Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?' And he said: 'No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: 'Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.' "
The Latin word Zizanium translated here for Cockle, or rather the Greek word, because it is made, and derived, of the Greek, doeth not signify only Cockle, but every other Weed, that annoy and hinder the growth of the good corn: as is heresy, sinful counsel, evil example, occasions, and temptations to sin, And as the enemy, when he had Sowed his cockle seed, went his way so secretly, that the husbandmen could not perceive it till both corn, and cockle grew up together, and and appeared in their proper form: So the sowers of these weeds aforesaid, or what so ever other they be, (as there are many and none worse, then our own ill inclination, and sinful concupiscence) sow their Cockle and ill Weeds in our soul so secretly, under color, and appearance of good, or of no harm, or at most of no moment, or danger , that till both grow up together, that is, till time, and experience in the Service of God discover it, cannot perceive them.
And when did the enemy watch his time, to sow his Cockle seed ? when the husbandmen were asleep.
And when doth our enemy sow his Cockle seed of sin in our soul, but when we are asleep, or not so vigilant as we should be? when we are slothful, and cold in the service of God; when we think our selves secure, and do not resist the first motions and temptations of sin - which steal upon us unawares, and are the most dangerous - enemies to souls of all.
When Ananias and Saphira his wife had committed a great sin of Sacrilege, Saint Peter reprehending them, said not: why have you committed the sin, but, Why hath Satan tempted you to commit it? that is to say, why did you not reject the temptation thereof, at first, which was the cause thereof? and Saint Paul alluding to young, maidens that are so chaste that they will blush, and be afraid at the least word or show of dishonesty that can be, exhort the Corinthians; and us in them to live in all chastity, that is to say, in every temptation or occasion of sin, to carry our selves so bashfully, so modestly, so timorously, and as it were Squeamishly, as young maidens do, to preserve their chastity.
Finally when the servants offered them selves to go, and gather out the cockle the Master bid them let alone till harvest: out of which we may learn, that as there must, and will be all ways in the world weeds of heresy, and scandal, as Christ saith of those, and Saint Paul of the other: so must they oftentimes be tolerated, and the Authors thereof, not for them selves, but for the good corns sake; either for the good, to try them, and make them better: or for the bad that they may become good; or because otherwise there may come more harm thereof then good.
And much more are we to suffer and beare with small defects, and frailness of others, which we cannot amend in our selves, rather then to trouble or discomfort them to much; least instead of milk (as the scripture saith) we strain out blond; seeing that for those things they shall not go to hell fire to be punished everlastingly: but to the fire of purgatory to be purged (as Saint Paul saith) To to be saved for their foundation sake that is to say for their Catholic faith; and freedom from mortal sin.
But, as the Master said, at harvest, the weeds shall be separated from the corn, and bound up in bundles, and so be burnt, when the corn shall be saved, and laid up into garners: So shall the wicked, and all those that concur with them in their wickedness, how so ever, they be tolerated, and borne with all, and much made of in this life, (as sometimes they be or be so potent that no man dares reprehend them) at harvest, that is to say after this life, they shall be bundled up all together, and cast into hell-fire, when the good shall be taken, and laid up in the garners of the everlasting joy, and felicity of heaven.
A PLAINE PATH-WAY TO HEAVEN THOMAS HILL 1634