Weeds and Wheat

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
(Matthew 13:36-43)

Scripture Study

13:36 went into the house: Jesus shifts attention from the “great crowds” (13:2) to his private instruction of the disciples.

13:39 the harvest: A biblical image for the Day of the Lord—i.e., the time when God will judge all nations (3:12; cf. Jer 51:33; Hos 6:11; Joel 3:13; Rev 14:14–16).

13:42 gnashing of teeth: The wicked will experience punishment (CCC 1034).

13:43 shine like the sun: Those resurrected to eternal life share in Jesus’ glory. ● The expression evokes Dan 12:3. In context, Daniel foresees the general resurrection, when the “wise” will be delivered from God’s judgment and “shine” for ever (Dan 12:1–4).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, our Gospel today is the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God sows his good seed, his word, his love and compassion, but his project is met with opposition. And the evil is such that it insinuates itself right into the very fabric of the good.

In classical theology, we speak of evil as a privatio boni, a privation of the good, meaning that evil is always and everywhere parasitic on the good. Just as a parasite is living off of the healthy body (and thereby weakening it), so moral evil lives off of the good soul, the good society, the good Church (and thereby weakens them).

What is the result? That it is exceptionally difficult to extricate the evil from the good without damaging the good. That’s why it is extremely difficult—and often counter-productive—to go after these evils with a crusading spirit.

To be sure, there are certain evils that simply have to be addressed—right now, no questions, no hesitations. But there are other evils (and they really are evil) that are best left alone for the time being, lest more damage is done in the process of extricating them.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.