Aloha Friday Message – August 27, 2010 – Aloha Friday ALREADY???


Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved! Today I am thinking about homonyms – words that sound alike but have different meaning and/or spellings. Specifically I am thinking of the word TEAR as in tear it up. When I was listening for Sunday’s Healing Word, the word I got was “TEAR.” I was about to write that down when I thought, “That same word could also be pronounced tear, as in tear-duct. However, if you think of the first pronunciation, that might sound the same but could be spelled TARE as in “tare weight.” Ahhh… But a TARE is also a noxious weed mentioned in one of Jesus parables. Here is that parable, just to refresh your memory.

Matthew 13:24-30 (New American Standard Bible) Tares among Wheat: 24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”

Matthew 13:24-30 (King James Version) Tares among the Wheat: 24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, “An enemy hath done this.” The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.” 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Now, I want to briefly look at each of the homonyms in this group (if you think of another one, send it to me?)

Tear: Separate into parts by physical force; rip, rend, cleave. When we tear something, it usually a forceful situation and usually opposing forces and pulling at something in the middle. We feel torn by opposing emotions. We tear into our work with fervor. We tear along the Interstate like a bat out of Hades. We tear of strips of cloth to make bandages. We tear a screaming child from the arms of an abusive parent.

Tear: My eyes tear when I think of you. She cried silent tears of joy. There’s a tear running down your cheek. Tears wash away our sorrow. Tears are shed for joy, for laughter, for sorrow, for irritation (smoke and pollen for example). Tears are usually voluntary, but some people learn to tear (cry) on cue. Sometimes even kids can do that. We cry when we are overcome with just about any emotion – joy, anger, embarrassment, frustration, pride, pleasure, even physical or mental pain. Tears remind us of the ocean because they are salt-water. Sometimes it seems our life begins and ends in tears.

Tare: The weight of the container used to weigh something. The Tare is usually subtracted from the Gross (total) Weight to get the Net (remaining) Weight. A box of crackers may contain 28.6 ounces Net Weight, but the gross weight of the package is 32 ounces which means the tare weight is 3.4 ounces. A tare is what is deducted or rejected, not used, discarded, not sold as part of the product, it’s just the package the product comes in; tare is often “built in” for weighing devices, or subtracted by setting the balance to zero while a weighing-vessel is on the balance before the item(s) to be weighed are added. The tare is not the item, nor is it the capacity or amount of the item.

Tare: In Jesus’ day the TARE was a plant that looked very much like wheat when it started growing, but when the time came around for harvest, the tare, also called darnel, a type of rye grass, not only looked different from the wheat, but also was poisonous rather than nutritious. Back in that time, an enemy might sow tare seeds in a neighbor’s wheat field as a kind of economic sabotage. The unlucky neighbor would not know this until the plants started to mature. Darnel parasitizes wheat fields, and deprives the wheat of vital nutrients in the soil – it is a weed, and that is how it is translated in many bible translations.


Many a sermon has been preached about Jesus’ parable, but I don’t want to detract from any of those in my little essay. I thought a bit about, though, how all of these homonyms describe how things in our lives become tears, tears, tares, and tares. Ready? Here we go!

We shed tears sometimes when events tear our life apart. In those trials we may discover that the tare in our judgment, our practices for weighing good and evil, has been misrepresented in the balance of things in much the same was as tares are misrepresentations of the intended crop of wheat. Sometimes we take things into our lives that look like they are good, nurturing, or will be healthy for us only to find that those things grow like weeds and choke the life out of us. Addictions are an example of those kinds of tares. Sometimes, though, the bad things that happen in our lives are not from things we do, but rather are things done to us. When this is done intentionally, it is usually the work of an enemy. When done unintentionally, it is often the work of ignorance or malicious behavior.

Jesus was making the point that the enemy, the Accuser, was the one who sows seeds of dissention, anguish, poison, and death into the potentially fruitful fields of our lives. When those things first enter our lives, they can go unnoticed until they begin to differentiate from the good things in our lives. By then, it can be hard to uproot them because so many other things get uprooted with them. We all know it’s usually best to weed the garden, or the wheat field, as soon as you spot the weeds. But there are situations where you have to wait until what’s good is strong enough to tolerate the trauma of separation from what’s bad. Addicts can’t quit their addition until they are strong enough to turn away from it. As with the wheat field, where it takes skill and trained workers to gently unravel the weeds from the wheat, so also with our lives. Sometimes it takes an expert counselor, or a pastor, a loved one, or a close friend to help us tell the good stuff from the bad stuff and get the bad stuff out of the way of the good stuff.

Parents are familiar with this process. The number of bad influences that assault our children is growing at an alarming rate, and parents are hard pressed to head of disaster when those influences tip the scales of our child’s judgment by upping the tare weight in their lives. Kids pick up habits and ideas that, in later years, can poison their thinking and choke out the good stuff parents have been carefully planting all through childhood.

Even as adults, we sometimes hoard things that are actually not good for us and should be discarded. Then, when we need to weigh the difference between good choices and bad choices, our weighing system is all out of whack. When these things happen to us as children or adults, we have to find ways to tare (discard) them out of our lives without destroying everything else. We need to cleave the soil in which our lives are nourished and take the bad stuff out by the roots and leave the good stuff better-rooted. Often those are some really difficult decisions, and we struggle with them – often on our own – hoping that we can figure it out.

But if you look back at the Parable of the Tares, there is a huge clue about how to do that with optimal success. Take the problem to the Lord of the Harvest. He has the plan for defeating the enemy. Let the wheat and tares grow until the wheat is ready for harvest, ripe enough and strong enough to withstand the weeding process. At the harvest, the wheat will be brown and the heads of the stalks will be bowed over because of the weight of their fruits. The tares will stand up straight and black, a smaller yield per stalk than the wheat, but deadly even in small amounts.

So, Beloved, if you are shedding tears because of the tares in your life, empty your life to the tare weight, and tear away the disguises of the enemy so that your life will be fruitful 30-, 60-, and even 100-fold. Go to the Lord of the harvest and divest yourself of the weeds that are choking out your life. Never be afraid to ask the Lord’s helpers to assist you in finding and carefully uprooting those weeds, but also make sure they are good and faithful servants who are not working for the Enemy. The accuser sows weeds, but he doesn’t to it all by himself. He has many, many helpers. The Lord of the harvest also has many, many helpers, and He will direct them to spare the good and gather up the bad to be cast away and burned.

Prayer note for this week:

• Polly F. has had a relapse and returned to nursing care. Pray for her successful recovery.
• NA is petitioning God for assistance in a deeply personal matter, Pray she will find discernment.
• Crucita and I had a delightful meeting with JC this week. She is still a golden light in the world and managing well with her benign tumor. There are tentative plans to do a biopsy and/or or partial resection later.
• Please continue prayers for mercy, assistance, and massively generous aid for Pakistan, the Philippines, China, Somalia, Darfur, Chile, and for our dear brothers and sisters in Haiti.
• This week many of us are thinking of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Even after five years, many there are still suffering, unable to overcome the huge losses of life and property. My brother is among those who lost much to the pair of hurricanes that tore through his community in Louisiana. There are many untold stories of people who have gathered up their faith and their family and trudged ahead toward recovery. They all could use our prayerful support.
• Please also remember – and do whatever you can to assist – the people in all of our communities who have lost everything in this messed-up economy. Every one of us knows of families, businesses, even whole communities who have been pushed to the very brink of extinction.

And let us also not forget to pray for one another, especially prayers of thanksgiving and praise, as we ask the Lord of the harvest to prepare us to do His work, “For the harvest is ready, but the laborers are few.”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved. Let’s keep adding to the MBN.

And in closing, here is a practical idea sent to us by MBN member CK. I edited it to make it a bit shorter.


A small cross – A powerful message

What about this idea? One gentleman writes ….

“When driving to, from, and through Frankenmuth , Michigan , I’m always intrigued with the many small simple crosses in the front yards of the homes we pass by.

“Those crosses are a statement of support for Frankenmuth’s Christian foundation.

“It would be a beautiful thing to see crosses all across America.”

For more information about tares and the parable of the Tares, please consult these valuable resources.


Chick Todd
Age Quod Agis

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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