Gospel: Mt 13:36-43
Then he sent the crowds away and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the people of the kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one. The enemy who sows the weeds is the devil; the harvest is the end of time, and the workers are the angels.
Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the just will shine, like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear.
Like the disciples of Jesus we find it hard to accept that the Lord allows morally corrupt people to exist in the world. It is difficult to understand the impunity of the wicked. Worse still, they seem to thrive in our world where they seem to enjoy all the fun that it offers. From our perspective, evidently they are obstacles to the proclamation of the Good News. They impede the advent of the Kingdom of God. Today’s parable reminds us of the mercy and compassion of God. He does not immediately condemn sinners. Instead God allows enough time for them to find their way to conversion. The Day of Judgement, when God will finally separate the good and the bad, will certainly arrive but until then the disciples of Jesus Christ and the followers of the evil one will co-exist in the same world.
This serves as a warning for Jesus’ disciples not to be complacent. As in the parable of the Seeds the Evil One can snatch away interest and love for God’s Word. What is a good approach to the presence of the “weeds” in the wheat field of God’s Kingdom? Saint Paul advice to the Romans (12:21) is quite apropos: “Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.” The Apostle Peter puts it differently: “Be calm but vigilant because your opponent the devil is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith.”