Parable of the Weeds Lesson for Teens


#1

I am doing a lesson on the parable of the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30).

Can you help me come up with some questions or talking points that I can bring to the lesson to help the kids understand the parable and even more so, some of the hidden meanings inside the parable.

Here is what I have so far:

  1. That the Church of God on earth consists of both good and bad; the 2d.
  2. That God is not the author of evil
  3. God does not always punish the wicked on the spot, but patiently bears with them
  4. The prayers of repenting sinners are never despised. We are taught also by this example not to cut off too hastily a fallen brother; for, whatever he may be to-day, to-morrow perhaps he may see his error and embrace the truth. S. Jerome. — Jesus Christ exhorts us to bear with infidels and heretics, not on our own account only, as wicked men are frequently of use to the virtuous, but also on their account; for sometimes the persons who have been corrupted and perverted, will return to the paths of virtue and truth
  5. When many are implicated in one misfortune, what remains but to bewail their condition. Let us then be willing to correct our brethren to the utmost of our power, but let it be always with mercy, charity and compassion; what we cannot correct, let us bear with patience, permitting what God permits, and interceding with him to move and convert their hearts.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Robert


#2

Great! :thumbsup:

  1. That God is not the author of evil

An important lesson. Also, “an enemy has done this” goes back to Genesis 3 and “the enemy” (Satan) who caused Man to fall.

  1. God does not always punish the wicked on the spot, but patiently bears with them

True. Also, that any earthly attempt to “root out” evil is always incomplete, because such a task is left to God at the end of time.

  1. The prayers of repenting sinners are never despised. We are taught also by this example not to cut off too hastily a fallen brother; for, whatever he may be to-day, to-morrow perhaps he may see his error and embrace the truth. S. Jerome. — Jesus Christ exhorts us to bear with infidels and heretics, not on our own account only, as wicked men are frequently of use to the virtuous, but also on their account; for sometimes the persons who have been corrupted and perverted, will return to the paths of virtue and truth

True. Admonish sinners and pray for them, but don’t call them witches and burn them or anything. :slight_smile:

  1. When many are implicated in one misfortune, what remains but to bewail their condition. Let us then be willing to correct our brethren to the utmost of our power, but let it be always with mercy, charity and compassion; what we cannot correct, let us bear with patience, permitting what God permits, and interceding with him to move and convert their hearts.

True. Also, remember the master’s words - “do not pull up the weeds, lest you pull up some of the wheat.” An accusation or a condemnation is easily issued - to then prove one’s innocence is difficult. We must refrain from passing blanket condemnations and self-righteous judgements that may hurt the innocent as well as the guilty.

Great exegesis. If I think of anything else, I’ll add it in.

:thumbsup:


#3

^ Great. Thanks!


#4

I wouldn’t leave out the end of the parable:

“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn”

The ultimate fates of the wheat (Heavenly glory with Christ) and the weeds (eternal damnation in Hell) is an important part of the parable and of reality.

Other than that, great job!! :thumbsup: I’ll be covering some parables of Jesus in a few weeks with my sixth graders, maybe I’ll have to include this one.


#5

Hi Boulder,
I did this same exercise with the teens last fall…

I made a comparison to them about the reading and their lives at school.

I told them:
“When you’re at school, it’s pretty obvious who the good kids are and who are the ones that are greatly misled . In other words, everybody know who the stoners are. Everybody know who the bullies are. Everybody knows the kid who is going to ask to copy your paper. Everybody knows who skips school, who smokes between classes, who is doing stuff they should not sexually.
That’s where good kids come in. You are living among people who have no compass point in their lives. You are to be the example of what it is to thrive and to be in Communion with God. When you excel, when you are happy and your teachers are happy with you, you model the behavior that is necessary for others to emulate. Not everyone is blessed to be Catholic. Not everyone is even churched at all. They have no idea that there is a better way. They seek out these destructive behaviors because there is no moral compass for them. Quietly do what you know to be right. Work to the best of your ability. Make your parents and teachers proud. Be a good friend. Be kind to those who are bullied. Be a friend to those who appear to have none. Make it clear that you are going to stay on the righteous path. Your truths will be more attractive to those who are lost than the things that are obviously hurting them. Kids who have bad behaviors are struggling to find their way. Like the weeds in the parable, they may look on the OUTSIDE like they are thriving in some kind of confusing way. But in reality, they are merely biding their time until something else bad happens. Stand tall. Grow straight. You’re shoulder to shoulder at times with those who don’t get it. But that does not mean you don’t still GROW. In the end…you will leave the field and feed the world. If they do not become like good seed, they will stay behind, to perish. Stay strong. Do not give in to pressures around you. Be the different one, and be glad about it. God will embrace you…the One who sows the seed will find you pleasing. Then, you will be ready when He calls you to serve”.


#6

Good point. Thanks!


#7

Wow. Great comparison and great way to make it applicable to the life of a teenager. I hope you don’t mind me using this. I’ll probably steal quite a bit of it!


#8

Let me ask a follow up question:

If God is not the author of evil, than why did he create Satan? Wouldn’t God then be the creator of evil because he created the Angel that fell? Certainly he knew he would fall before he did, so in turn, God created evil.

I can just see this question coming up and I want to be able to nip it right away.


#9

Use away. Thanks. I love teaching pre-teens and teens. The important is to make real life applications, and you’ll have them on the hook. :thumbsup:

God did not create evil in the way that they will ask you. (the way that they mean).
They will be familiar with the concept of free will.
If we as flawed persons, choose evil, God does not interfere. Because…head’s up people He desires that we CHOOSE Him. I tell them: think of it like a shot-gun wedding. Which is better…To have someone marry you because your relatives are forcing you into it…or to have some one marry you because they desire you, and you also desire them. That you are created to live in harmony together. ? Which is better?
We are created to live in harmony with God. We are not created to spend some time goofing around in this life and then, hopefully end up in heaven. NO. The PLAN, God’s plan, is that we would be obedient in this life for the reward and the culmination of His plan for us TOGETHER in the next life. If we choose evil instead, that effectively says to God: you know what? I don’t care about you. I don’t desire you. I reject you. And for God, who loves us more than we can imagine, that is a crushing thing to hear. Never say this to God in life, in your actions, in your thoughts. The one who promotes evil, wants you to turn against God, because it’s the only weapon he has at his disposal. Don’t be a weapon. Satan is jealous of your special relationship with God,. He only wants to break you up. Don’t allow it. Guard you soul.
Peace,
pianist


#10

God didn’t create “Satan”; God created a good angel - according to tradition, “Lucifer”/morning star (who chose to rebel and become “satan”).
newadvent.org/cathen/09410a.htm
…St. Jerome agrees with them (In Isaiah 1.14), and makes Lucifer the name of the principal fallen angel who must lament the loss of his original glory bright as the morning star. In Christian tradition this meaning of Lucifer has prevailed; the Fathers maintain that Lucifer is not the proper name of the devil, but denotes only the state from which he has fallen.


#11

However, God would have known he would choose pride and fall away. So some may argue that God created Satan because he knew the eventual outcome. This isn’t my argument, but I am trying to get prepared for my class this Sunday and want to make sure I have solid answers for these kids. They are an awfully smart bunch and very inquisitive! They make me very proud to be the next generation of Catholics, but they offer up some “doosies” of questions LOL!


#12

It is applicable in both the world, and also to the Church. There are even evil people in the Church. We must try to correct them and guide them to repent, but some will always be there.

It can help them when confronted (as they soon will be) about how the Church must be wrong, or Christianity is wrong b/c of the abuse scandal.


#13

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