My annual retreat ended last evening; today we have a free day (believe me, it is already filled up--I offered to cook) and tomorrow we begin five days of community "stuff." And it will really be community, because there will be 53 of us (about 40% of the total number of Daughters of St Paul in the US and English-speaking Canada!). It should be great. And the weather has been lovely, at least to me. Granted, very hot and humid, but that is right up my alley.
Today's gospel really isn't one of my favorites; it's the explanation of the parable of the weeds and the wheat. Scholars say that the detailed explanations of the parables of the Sower and of the weeds probably did not come right from Jesus' lips; that it would have been uncharacteristic of his teaching style to give a parable and then unpack it himself: that is what the hearer was supposed to do; that's how parables work! (However, Mark does say explicitly that Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, but explained things privately to the inner circle of his disciples, whom, after all, he was preparing for a mission to the whole world.) Be that as it may, I kind of wish the Gospels explained other things; these particular parables seem straightforward enough! But maybe the point the early church was making in including the explanation wasn't so much to explain as to emphasize through repetition: the explanation itself becomes simply a device for that--along with the exhortation (which is the whole purpose of the parables): "Whoever has ears, let him hear."