Sunday Mass Times in Blessington Parish
Saturday Vigil 6.00pm
Sunday 10.00am 11.00am 7.30pm
12.00 noon
Manor Kilbride
Blessington Union of Parishes, Church of Ireland.
For information on Services for Blessington Union of Parishes please click here

Fr Kevin Lyon. Archdeacon of Glendalough.

Gospel  Matthew 13:24-43

(Darnel/tares are some of the most destructive of all weeds since the seeds are poisonous,
if eaten can cause dizziness, vomiting and sometimes even death.)

Jesus put a parable before the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”‘

He told them another parable, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through’.

In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy:
I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.

Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us’. He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his Kingdom all the thinks that provoke offences an all who do evil, and throw them into the burning furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears.

The Gospel of the Lord.


The picture in this parable (Matthew 13: 24-33) would be familiar to a Palestinian audience. A weed called the
bearded darnel was one of the curses a farmer had to endure. In the early stages darnel so closely resembled wheat
that it was impossible to distinguish one from the other. When both had produced seed heads it was easy to
distinguish them; but by that time, their roots were so intertwined that the darnel could not be weeded out without
tearing the wheat out as well. Both must be left to grow until the harvest time. In the end wheat had to be laboriously
separated from it, the consequences were serious, as the darnel seed is slightly poisonous. In ancient times, sowing
seeds among a growing crop was a criminal act. Even to this day in India, one of the direst threats which someone
can make to an enemy is ‘I will sow bad seed in your field’.
There is always the temptation within a community for it to become a Church of the pure, a Church of the elite. The
parable of the darnel presupposes such a temptation. ‘Do you want us to go and weed out the darnel?’ ‘No’ said
Jesus, ‘because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it’. It is quite clear that Jesus is
interested above all in saving the good grain. He wants to give the wheat every possible chance. In this life nobody
can pretend to adopt that attitude that divides everything into two distinct categories; good and evil, truth and error.
Heresy itself can have its grain of truth and the true teaching can contain traces of error. As Gerard McGinty once
wrote ‘It is possible to sense the presence of an angel and yet scent the devil’. We must practice the difficult art of
discernment – a question of uniting two apparently contradictory attitudes – wanting to be the wheat and at the same
time taking a stand against the ‘world’ and its desires.
The second virtue the parable would have us cultivate is patience – to rein in that impulsive desire to sort out before
the end of time, those called to the kingdom. Though we must hate vices, we must never cease to love people. See
how Jesus was rebuked by the Pharisees as he was identified as being a friend of publicans and sinners’. Jesus
assures us that the tiny mustard seed, lost in the broad acres of the world will grow, little by little, until it becomes an
immense tree of the kingdom, alive to the song of birds. For Matthew; too hasty action against the weak brother or
sister, even if they are sinners, is bad. The best thing is to wait and allow the Lord to exercise the final judgement.


Fr. Kevin Lyon
Archdeacon of Glendalough