Today’s Gospel contains three parables of Jesus plus an allegorical interpretation of one of them, namely, the wheat and the weeds planted in a field. Jesus uses this parable to explain the nature of the kingdom of God on earth. The image Jesus uses in this parable, wheat and weeds represent good and bad people. The field on which they are planted is the world.
The servants of the owner of the field want to uproot the weeds to prevent it from contaminating the good ones but the master refuses. Though weeds can spoil and even kill a good harvest if they are not separated and destroyed at the proper time, uprooting them too early, can destroy the good plants in the process. In this parable, one wonders why the master decides to leave the weeds till the time of harvest. We all know how easily the weak can be influenced by the presence of evil if allowed to live together.
Like them, today we wonder why some wicked people who parade our streets, namely, thieves, vandals, kidnappers, drug pushers, drunkards, terrorists, hijackers, abortionists, rapists, and child-molesters, should be allowed to live. Eliminate them! Hitler tried it on the Jews. Stalin tried it on his enemies. The military in Argentina tried it during their so-called ‘dirty war’ against terrorists. Though attractive, it is not a Christian solution to a problem of this kind.
We, too, are like the servants in the parable, quick to judge when one does something wrong and ready to condemn. This is not good! The time for judgment is not yet at hand because God’s kingdom on earth is still at the growing stage. Now is only a time for repentance and conversion. Jesus did not weed out Judas who betrayed him. He did not weed out Peter who denied him not only once but three times? He saw the wheat in him as well as the weeds. He knew that with more understanding, the wheat in Peter would overcome the weeds which later happened.
In this way, it becomes a message for overzealous believers who would want the Church to get rid of all bad people from the Church. We can think of Saul who undertook a personal crusade to root out Christianity because he believed it was a bad idea. We think of Christians who go about hunting down abortion providers and homosexuals. That is not what God wants from us. Jesus told the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds to teach us that creation is good but infested with the evil actions of the devil. The most justified approach to it is to tolerate those whose ways of life are opposed to our belief system until the day of reckoning.
Today the Gospel is loud and clear: if you want to be a faithful servant of God you must be prepared to make room for those we perceive as evil. We must heed the words of the Master: “Let both of them grow together until the harvest” (verse 30). Jesus in his wisdom wants us to take this line of approach because he believes that humans are dynamic, they are likely to change and repent. It is not any wonder why he says that “some who are first will be last and some who are last will be first” (Luke 13:30). The Christian who proves good today may fall tomorrow as has always been the case, and the one who proves bad today can repent tomorrow. He adopts this attitude to teach us to wait till the day of reckoning because he looks forward to the repentance of sinners. He “does not derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked but rejoices when he turns from his evil way and live” (Ezekiel 18:23). As such we are to put up with all humans without discriminations or antagonisms.