WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED
God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
All our lives through;
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.
But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labour,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Darnel is a common weed in Palestine and indeed around the world. The seed of the darnel is easily mistaken for wheat and the two plants are indistinguishable until they have ripened. This means that they are easily confused for each other, hence the believability of the conclusion drawn in the parable that it had to have been an enemy who had sowed the darnel among the wheat.
Wheat and darnel are so alike that darnel is even known in some places as false wheat. The major difference between the two plants is that darnel is highly toxic and when consumed can result in a kind of drunken nausea which in some cases can be fatal. In fact, the Latin name for darnel is lolium temulentum; lolium is the genus and the description temulentus means drunk or intoxicated.
You can see that any farmer would take great care to plant only good seeds. And also, that farmers would burn darnel whenever it is discovered so that no seed remains to contaminate the next harvest.
We can see from this that the Parable of the Darnel is one that would have been well understood by the people at the time of Jesus. Of course, what is less clear to them would have been Jesus’ interpretation which he gives only to his disciples. He tells them that the wheat stands for the good subjects of the Kingdom of God and the darnel for the subjects of the Evil One.
Jesus knows which is which and warns us that there will be a time of judgement and that we will be dealt with according to where our loyalties lie. While we still have time, we had better make sure of our true allegiance. We need to decide which side we are on: the side of Christ or the side of the Evil One.
The Road not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Touch Wood‘Touch wood’ is a saying which has remained very popular down through the ages. It goes back to the Middle Ages and originated, of course, from the practice of touching the wood of the Cross, the most prized relic of all.
Many a Catholic would venerate a relic of the Cross before beginning a journey or undertaking a hazardous task or whenever they encountered a severe danger such as the plague. If they couldn’t touch an actual relic of the Cross then any small crucifix would do, such as those attached to a rosary which many people would carry with them.
Today most people are satisfied with touching any piece wood as a substitute and, being ignorant of its spiritual origins, they regard it as a superstition which might help them to avoid something bad happening.
There is another tradition that the wood of the Cross came from the aspen tree, and it is said that this explains why the aspen always trembles.
Father Alex McAllister SDS