“All men are made one for another: either then teach them better or bear with them.”
Gospel Text: (MT 13:24-43)
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
He proposed another parable to them.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”
He spoke to them another parable.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”
All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.
Then, dismissing the crowds, he 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.”
St. Paul says, «And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him» (Rom 8:28). All this is fine, but... there is a mystery of iniquity and wickedness that does not come from God, that extends beyond us and ravages the Church, which is God's garden. And we would like God to be “somewhat” more powerful, more “here and now”, that He would be more demanding and would not let these distressing forces in: «Do you want us to go and pull up [the weeds]?» (Mt 13:28).
In his last book Memory and Identity, John Paul II wrote this: «We patiently suffer God's mercy», that waits until the last moment to offer salvation to all souls, especially those more in need of its mercy («Let them just grow together until harvest»: Mt 13:30). And, as He is the Lord of our lives and of all mankind, He pulls the threads of our existence, while respecting our freedom. And along with our afflictions we are supplied with overabundant grace to overcome them, to sanctify ourselves, to head towards Him, to be a permanent offertory, to make his Kingdom grow.
Through each encounter, each event, Christ introduces us to His school of life. He comes to meet us and says: —But take heart! I have overcome the world. I am with you always, until the end of the age» (cf. Jn 16:33; Mt 28:20). He also tells us: —Don't judge; but, rather, do as I do, wait, trust, pray for all those erring, and sanctify them as members you are very much interested in, for they are members of your own body.