In today’s Gospel Jesus explains the Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat. In this parable Jesus gives us his vision of what the church is or what it should be. While eventually the weeds are separated from the wheat that does not happen until the “end of the age.” It will be Jesus, the Son of Man, who will send out his angels to separate the weeds from the wheat but only at the end of the age. Until that time weeds and wheat will grow together. Jesus’ vision for the church is that weeds and wheat, saints and sinners, will be together until the end of time. It is not up to the church to separate or judge. Jesus will do that, but only at the end of the age when “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.”
A little bit later in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus talks again about this separation:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31-32).
Jesus also gives us the criterion of separation: did we show love and compassion to our neighbor, especially to the “least” of God’s children”
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:35-36).
So, all of us gather together today as a church which welcomes both saints and sinners. All are welcome and no one is excluded. As we gather together help one another to grow in faith. We call upon each other and ourselves to trust God and to love one another and even to show love to our enemies. We are a church of both weeds and wheat growing together.