Fr. Khanh's Page
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the Gospel, Jesus not only proposes the parable of the weeds and wheat (vv 24-30); he also explains the various details contained in the parable (vv 36-43).
In their early stages of growth, darned and wheat look very similar and are not easily distinguished. People around Jesus clamor to pull up right away the darned of the world and to retain only the wheat in God’s farm. Jesus decides against rash judgment and merciless action and proposes instead to give sinners the chance to be converted. He teaches us to be tolerant and patient towards other’s misdeeds, thereby inviting us also towards self-introspection instead of pointing accusing fingers at others.
There is widespread belief among the Jews that when the Messiah comes, all the wicked people will be burnt up by the fire from heaven. Even John the Baptist, the Lord’s herald, supports this view: “His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Mt 3:12). Some contemporaries of Jesus wonder why he does not “sanitize” the world, get rid of tax collectors and sinners, and associate only with the pure and the holy. The Pharisees are the so-called separated ones: they keep distance from sinners for fear of uncleanness.
Not afraid of any kind of contamination, Jesus does not speak of “fire” meant to burn sinners. Rather, he welcomes them to his circle. He teaches out to them and makes them experience his mercy and forgiveness.
We cannot do anything less than follow Jesus’ patience and tolerance towards our neighbors and ourselves.
Your servant in Christ,
Father Khanh D. Nguyen