17th Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 27th July 2021 — Gospel: Mt 13,36-43
The Righteous Shine Like the Light
The parable focuses on the final judgement: the judgement of God ‘at the end of the age’. This judgement transcends all boundaries of space and time. Harvest-time is a frequent image for the last judgement in both the OT and the NT. The image of fire is used for the punishment of sin (Mt 3,10.12; 5,22; 7,19), which denotes suffering in ‘the age to come’ (12,32). The terrible finality of God’s judgement highlights that only the truth matters. If the present truth is that we are caught up in sin, and we admit it and seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, he will heal us. If we stubbornly refuse to acknowledge our sin, all we can expect is to continue living a life now and to end up destroying our lives. In both we are called to repentance while there is still time. All evildoers, including Jesus’ disciples, will suffer the same fate as unbelieving Israel. While the true disciples, designated as “the righteous” will share the divine glory, and will be transformed into beings of light (Dan 12,3). The allegorical interpretation seems to shift the parable’s center of gravity from the need for patience and tolerance with the weeds to the fearful judgement to come.