17th Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 28th July 2020 — Gospel: Mt 13,36-43
Judgment as on-going process
The explanation of the parable of the weeds focuses on the judgement that will befall on “all causes of sin and all evildoers” (Mt 13,41). The one who sows the weeds among the children of the kingdom is called an “enemy”, identified as devil. We find three other references to the “enemies” in the Gospel of Matthew. The first time, Jesus exhorts his disciples to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5,43-44). The question that arises at this juncture is, if these enemies are destined for a “furnace of fire” (Mt 13,42), then why should we love them here and now? It is because God who is judge of all, causes the sun to rise on both the evil and the good (Mt 5,45). The second reference to “enemies” is about Jesus telling his disciples that he is sending them out as sheep among wolves, where “one’s enemies will be members of one’s own household” (Mt 10,36). In this situation, the question that arises is what would make us enemies of one another within our closest members of our families? It is lack of Love of God in our brothers and sisters. In the final occurrence, Jesus quotes the prophecy of David from Ps 110,1 with respect to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet” (Mt 22,24). Here the enemies are destroyed by the anointed king. All the references highlight that in our midst there are enemies, the children of the evil one. The human tendency is to want set things right immediately, but Jesus urges his hearers to be patient and wait for God’s judgment. The children of the evil one who play the role of the enemies will be cast out from the presence of God where they will weep and gnash their teeth (8,12; 13,50; 22,13; 24,51; 25,30). In the end, the enemies are punished for what they have done. The judgment is necessary and important. Not as means of self-satisfaction, rather as a continuous process of discernment to better our life here and now.