Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” – Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)
A recent Sunday gospel reading really hit home for me. I was reminded that no matter what we think about those we encounter on our journey into theosis, it is not our job to decide whether they are the wheat or the tares. That is reserved to powers much holier than us. Our mission is to make sure we are the wheat.
An interesting fact about the tares is that as they’re growing they put just as much effort, if not more, as the true wheat does, into their development. Since they build a deeper and more secure connection to the earth rather than putting all that energy into developing a larger head of wheat they can look quite robust and can sometimes fool even the farmer into believing he’s going to have a bumper crop. In our case there is no fooling the farmer (God) or the reapers (angels) the only person we can fool is ourselves. We must choose to make the effort to do what it takes to grow into the perfect head of wheat. Even if (or especially if) it means having fewer and more tenuous connections to this Earth. When it comes time for the Reapers to gather God’s creation we will want to be bowing under the weight of a perfect head of wheat. Our contributions to the salvation of the whole world. If you can stand taller than those around you then you might want to check to see if there is any wheat at the end of your stalk. One way the reapers know which is the wheat and which are the tares is that the tares have no head to weigh them down. It also makes it easier to reap them separately. When it comes time for the reapers to do their job deeper connections to the earth won’t make any difference either. They are not impressed by how deep our earthly roots go. That part is cut off at reaping and left in the ground to rot. The tares will be left with hollow useless stalks suitable only for the fire. The wheat, on the other hand, will have their fruit to offer to the Farmer. Which is, after all, the whole point.
Just be the wheat.