Jesus in today’s parable was warning us against a premature separation of wheat from weed, of the good from the bad. He was saying that this kind of separation is really God’s work, not our work and that it will happen at the end of time rather than in the course of time. Just as the servants in the parable would have been unable to distinguish the wheat from the weeds if they had been let loose, we do not always have the necessary insight to distinguish who is good and who is evil. We can get it terribly wrong; we only have to think of those innocent people who have been wrongly imprisoned. How often in our own personal lives have we judged someone harshly only to discover in time that we were very wide of the mark. Too great a zeal to purify the wheat field risks doing more harm than good. A weed-free garden may be highly desirable, but the gospel today suggests that we may have to learn to live with weeds. We need to be patient with imperfection, in ourselves and in others. As we know only too well, life is not tidy. It is not like a well-manicured garden, in which order and harmony prevail. Each of us is a mixture of wheat and weed; we are each tainted by sin and yet touched by grace. Our calling is to grow in grace before God and others, as Jesus did. We look to him to help us to keep on turning from sin and growing in grace.