Sunday, July 17, 2011

Living Among The Cockle

 Matthew's Gospel for today's Mass is one of those passages that seemed to be speaking directly to me. One of the things I often do is to read and pray with the Douay~Rheims translation of Scripture. I find the language more beautiful and at times, like today, I find a bit more clarity.
In the first parable Jesus uses in today's Gospel, He speaks of the weeds that grow among the wheat. The New American Bible translation used in the Lectionary uses the term "weeds". When I went to my Douay~Rheims translation, the word "cockle" was used. I now pause this reflection briefly to give a short vocabulary lesson. It is the teacher in me; I really can't help myself! I looked up cockle, but got the more traditional definition of the sea mollusk. I then remembered that the weeds Jesus referred to were also sometimes called "false wheat", so I looked up that term, and this is what I found: This weed is also called "darnel", in some regions cockle or false wheat. This weed and actual wheat look exactly alike until they are ripe. Upon ripening the actual good wheat's ear is brown while the cockle or false wheat's ear is black. OK~end of lesson, back to reflection.
I said at the beginning of this post that I felt like God was speaking directly to me in this passage. One reason for this perhaps is because He knows that I have some difficulty being around people in general. My job often requires me to deal with the general public~not one of my strong suits. What I have found myself coming up against lately is a strong sense of entitlement from people in general. I find myself wondering why many, not all, cannot seem to think about anyone but themselves. The devil has used this at times to cause me to be a bit self righteous. It is one of those sins I have brought to confession many times, really wanting to change, but find myself confessing it again at my next confession. So when I read the parable of the good and false wheat today, it was if I heard God saying: "My daughter while you roam this earth, you will need to live among the cockle, the false wheat. It is not your job to uproot it for I will deal with it in the end."
This also made me think of St Paul's words to the Ephesians: "With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity." (Ephesians 4:2) I need to live as peacefully, patiently and meekly as I can among the cockle, remembering that as the book of Wisdom tells us in today's first reading that God shows His  might when the perfection of His power is disbelieved (see Wisdom 12:17).
So with God's grace I will continue to live this earthly life following St Paul's advice and God's reminder to me that He is ultimately in charge and He doesn't need my help in seeing what is going on in this world.

6 comments:

Colleen said...

Oh boy. We are kindred spirits in so many ways and your post really speaks to me. I too sometimes think God needs my help on matters such as weeds and wheat. Sigh. Thanks for reminding me. And thanks for the vocabulary lesson. :)
Hugs and blessings.

Anne said...

How very interesting! This translation sounds lovely-I'm enchanted by the word cockle and its description as black wheat. Thanks for doing the research and sharing what you've learned! My prayers for you as you learn to cope with those who have a strong sense of entitlement.

mary333 said...

The word God gave you is very similar to the homily we had at church today. He spoke to us about living in the midst of the weeds and about God leaving us here to live among them as hard as it can be. He spoke about the selfishness of the world we live in and how frustrating it is to live this way. He also went on to speak about how some of these weeds can become transformed, not by our words, but by the example we give by the way we live our own lives. It was a great homily and it reminded me of your words here.

I loved the information you found out about the cockles and the false wheat. This makes more sense than the word weeds.

There IS a strong sense of entitlement today, especially in western societies and sometimes it's hard for me not to judge, too. To be honest, I think I confess it almost every time I go to confession. Thanks to God's grace I've seen improvement in this area but it has been slow in coming.
Great post, Karin.

By the way - I like to give satan headaches too :)

Karinann said...

Thanks Anne, Colleen and Mary. I was not going to write anything today, but kept feeling nudged to do so. Glad you were all able to glean something from it.

Colleen said...

Karinann, enjoyed the post, explanation of cockle--especially the black or dark head on the wheat that seems symbolic of mind or heart of darkness. Thanks too for your honest sharing. Everytime someone tells about the "readings really being for them" or "speaking to their heart" at Mass I rejoice. Go is omnipotent, alive, and actively at work in our midst!

Karinann said...

Thanks Colleen. I so agree that God is alive and at work in our midst.
God bless.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.