The parable about the wheat and the chaff or weeds is a good reminder about how the Gospel of Christ requires us to trust more in the work of God than in our own judgment. The weeds and the wheat do not correspond to different individuals as much as they refer to the mixed nature of our inner life. In the soul of any man or woman you will find both weeds and wheat – both what is obviously good and what is obviously bad. There is a temptation by the disciples of Christ, by those in a position to work the field, to get rid of the weeds. Obviously weeds are the bad thoughts, actions, words, etc., that are discernable at any given time. The question is not whether or not they need to be gotten rid of, but when they need to be gotten rid of. There are some faults – even moral faults – that we may find in ourselves or in others which actually play a role in preventing something worse. These weeds end up protecting the wheat. A great example of this is any humiliating sin. God may indeed allow a humiliating sin so that the wheat of humility will not be removed. Pride is a worse sin than anything we could do that would humiliate us.
The prophet Elijah is one of very few people said to have been assumed into heaven. There is of course the Blessed Virgin Mary, some speak of Moses, others of Saint John the Apostle. The only one clearly indicated in the scriptures is the assumption of Elijah. Not only is it a unique occurrence, it is also fairly dramatic with blazing horses and chariot. As Elijah is taken up into heaven, he leaves everything behind – even the prophet’s mantle. Even the amazing office of prophet is useless and of little importance in heaven. When we come before God, we will appear in all our miserable plainness. We will be naked in our broken personhood before the majesty of perfection itself. The only light that will shine from our being is that light of faith and trust in God’s mercy that He Himself planted in our hearts. The more we’ve trusted in that mercy in this life, the brighter we will shine at the moment of judgment.