Jesus explains the parable of the weeds

Fr Paul reads and reflects on the Gospel of Matthew (13: 36-43) in which Jesus explains the parable of the weeds. This explanation only occurs in Matthew and, Fr Paul says, we need to understand that part of Matthew’s style of writing – what he always tries to do – is to warn of God’s punishment.

Having heard the explanation, we even need to consider the order of the harvest in the parable. Fr Paul says this because normally we would make sure to get the good wheat in first then deal with the weeds (or in this case, the wicked) later. Matthew reverses the order of the harvest – the weeds (the wicked) are dealt with first and the good crop (the virtuous) are left in the field. In other words, they stand triumphant over the wicked.

Towards the end of the Gospel, we hear Matthew’s gruesome warning where he highlights what will take place for the wicked – the blazing furnace, the weeping and grinding of teeth. This is the fate of those who are wicked. The good, the virtuous will triumph over the wicked.

With this explanation in mind, plus Matthew’s emphasis on warning us and reversing the order of the harvest, it might be timely to reflect that good and evil exist in all of us and to think about ‘What might I need to do in my life to ensure that good always triumphs over evil?’