16TH Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 2020
I know many clever and good teachers, but, one in particular has a unique action in her classroom. Every Friday afternoon this teacher asks her fifth grade class to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children they would like to sit with the following week.
She also asks the children to nominate one student who they believed had been an “exceptional classroom citizen” that week.
WHY DOES SHE DO THIS??
As she goes over them, she looks for “patterns” like:
Who’s not getting requested to sit with?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
The teacher is not really looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional classroom citizens”.
She is looking for:
for CHILDREN WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO CONNECT WITH OTHER CHILDREN,
She is pinning down – immediately –
who is considered GOOD, and
who is considered BAD
Her Friday lists are an X-RAY of her classroom so that she can help ALL STUDENTS feel connected and unified.
Jesus used this “pastoral” image of garden life to address a very basic way of living….
people tend to see people as either GOOD or BAD
some people decide unfortunately to get rid of those they consider as bad
as we have been seeing in our country with brutality and racism!
Only God can separate the GOOD FROM THE BAD!
That’s God’s job.
Our job is to create:
All of us can judge and see people as both weeds and wheat / GOOD AND BAD in our garden, in our church, in our world,
following Jesus means that we RECOGNIZE our ability to NOT JUDGE, but, to be COMPASSIONATE to all and make no judgements.
They say….one doesn’t have to like everybody, but you have to LOVE everybody! That’s being compassionate to all, finding the good.
That teacher sought out the GOOD that she knows EXISTS in every one of her students. GOOD for her and good for us if we imitate that………….as Jesus teaches:
“Master, do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?”
“No, if you do so you may pull up the “wheat” along with them. Let them grow together until harvest.”
Let us be a church where we live compassionately with all people, good and bad and allow God to take care of us.