Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (13: 36-43) in which Jesus explains the parable of the darnel in the field to the disciples.

In today’s Gospel, Fr Paul says, we hear Jesus offer an interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the darnel.  This interpretation only occurs in the Gospel of Matthew and if we understand that Matthew is always concerned about warning the wicked, then we can have some insight into it.

Matthew surprises us in his explanation of the parable because we would probably expect that all the wheat, the good things, are gathered first and the rest can then be left, set alight and burnt. However, Matthew in this explanation tells us it is the weeds that are collected first; this has the advantage that all the good wheat is left triumphant in the field. It really emphasises that the wicked will be thrown into the furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

Listen again to the words of the Gospel with this explanation in mind:

The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil,
and they will throw them into the blazing furnace,
where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

In our lives today, mindful of this Gospel, Fr Paul asks, ‘how can we as subjects of the kingdom shine out to those around us?’