Through three parables Jesus gradually reveals the mystery of the kingdom of heaven and explains the enigma of the existence of evil.
In the parable of the seed and weed, the owner represents God. He is the one who sows, the one responsible of the quality of the seed.
The seeds are defined as being good. Creation is good as the seed of the word announced by Jesus is good.
The enemy in the parable represents the logic of this world. He comes at night and, while everyone is asleep, sows tares, a kind of weed with a leaf similar to grain.
It grows to a height of 60 centimetres and produces an ear containing a blackish grain; its roots become intertwined with the wheat and are impossible to eradicate without damaging it.
It is when the mind is numb from sleep, when vigilance is loosened, when you abandon yourself to dissipation and frivolity that the enemy finds a way to hack into the field and sow evil.
The servant represents us. Their reaction—a mixture of astonishment and bewilderment in finding the presence of the darnel—is what we experience when we realise the existence of evil in the world, in the Christian community, in every person.
The exciting dialogue shows the interest of the servants in the field and their commitment to the harvest.
But, their passion for the cause of good involves them to the point of proposing something reckless.
They are overcome with impatience, the anxiety of immediately getting rid of the darnel.
They have no hesitation; they want an immediate and strong intervention.
The owner does not lose control; he keeps calm. He is not surprised at the incident. He is not moved and does not share the restlessness.
The perspective of God is represented in his response. In this world, good and evil are not separated. They are destined to grow together until the end.
It is good to reflect that evil cannot be easily extricated, because it is within us.
Good and evil are found in every person although we would like to lull ourselves into the illusion of being perfect.
No one is perfect. So Jesus urges us to consider it with the calm and patient eyes of God.
The twin parables that follow contain the same message: the disproportion between the small beginning and the unexpected, amazing final result.
A grain of mustard seed, almost invisible, gives rise to a shrub that can reach four feet in height; a few grammes of yeast makes 50 pounds of flour rise. The contrast is enormous.
The Church, which began with a group of unskilled fishermen and impure, sinful people, and has grown into a solace and refuge for millions in the world is the miracle of the Lord. Neither the yeast nor the seed knew what they were capable of!
The evangelist concludes the three parables with a reflection on the goal, which Jesus wanted to achieve: to unveil the plan God has held for the world since the moment of creation.
First, the master invited the servants to accept with serenity the existence of evil next to the good. Then he scolded their intolerance.
Father Fernando Armellini SCJ
Translated by Father John Ledesma SDB
Abridged by Father Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF