July 31, 2012 - Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

Jeremiah 14:17-22
Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13
Matthew 13:36-43

I do not like this interpretation, at least in the first way I understood it. How can the weeds be called the “sons of the Evil One”? Does this mean that the world is divided into good people and bad people and the good people were put there by God and the bad people were put there by the Devil? If this interpretation were our only Scripture, that would be the most reasonable understanding, but it is not.

We know that God created Adam and Eve. The devil only corrupted the good that God created. He did not create his own people. It was a child of Adam and Eve who committed the first murder. Indeed, it was Adam and Eve themselves who committed the first sin. How can Jesus say that the devil snuck into the field and planted the bad people when he knows that the bad people are not weeds: they are wheat gone bad? God created all of the humans who have ever existed. He created Mary and all the saints, and he created Judas and every wicked person, including Satan himself. Jesus says that the weeds are the sons of the Evil One, but Jesus also says in another place that the Evil One, Satan, is the father of lies, so the weeds must be lies, not people.

The official translation says “all who cause others to sin”, but there is no reason to translate this as if it were people. The devil does not plant people in the world. He plants lies that trap people, that cause them to sin. But what of the evildoers? These are clearly people, but they were not planted by the devil.

The wheat grows up surrounded by weeds. It was supposed to be a beautiful wheat field, but now it is a mess. As always happens, some of the wheat has succumbed to the weeds. People have believed the lies. What happens when wheat is weakened by the surrounding weeds? It fails to produce fruit. It is just a stalk without any grains. When the angels harvest the wheat, these empty stalks will be counted as weeds. So we should not understand this parable as if the world was made of wheat and weeds, good people and bad. We are all good seed, but unless we grow above the weeds and produce the fruit expected of us, we will not be counted as wheat when the harvest comes.