Discernment on the way to God.
Discernment is an exceptional quality or gift. It is needed by those who manage, lead, and administer. Today, however, we are reminded that the believer is also to seek it. In the Gospel, the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ, teaches us about the evil in the world. He uses the parable of the tares among the wheat to make this point. He uses wheat to refer to the good people in the world and tares to refer to the evil people in the world. The farmer who originally sowed only good seeds on his field and wanted to destroy the tares before the harvest so that they would not spoil his wheat would have damaged the wheat’s growth quite a bit.
The lesson to be learned from this parable is considerable. The Lord Jesus wanted to tell His apostles that when they saw so much evil in the world, not to be disgusted, for they might do even more evil by their attitude. Let them not judge the wicked. Let them realize that the tares will always remain tares, the wheat-only wheat. The wicked always have a chance to better themselves, and the goodness of others may be tried to earn a greater reward.
This parable reminds us of how the Lord Jesus behaved toward those who had fallen. The Lord Jesus received even Nicodemus with the most incredible patience and understanding. Eventually, Nicodemus became a disciple of the Lord. We may also mention here the public sinner Mary Magdalene. Everyone wanted to stone her because she was caught in the act of adultery. No one brought to the Lord the man with whom she had committed evil. The Lord Jesus saw their meanness. He did not condemn her. He rewarded her sincere conversion and love by making her a great saint. He appeared to her first after His resurrection, and she convinced even the apostles that the Lord had “really” risen.
Likewise, Matthew the Apostle. He was initially a tax collector, whom everyone liked to despise because he was very invasive of people. After meeting Jesus and acknowledging his guilt, he made restitution to all those he had wronged. He eventually became an apostle and evangelist. The Lord Jesus rejected only those who did not want to acknowledge their guilt and those who thought themselves righteous and despised others. It is sure from the parable that the Lord Jesus is the Judge and no one else. Judging others in the sight of God is at least as foolish as plucking tares from among the wheat. The Lord Jesus tells us: “Let both grow until the harvest” (Matt. 13:30). Therefore, leave even the judgment to the Lord, who will surely come and judge the living and the dead.
The Lord Jesus also calls us to act Christians towards evil. In everyday life we often hear the remark, “Why does the Lord Jesus suffer evil? Does He not see that while the evil are well treated, the good suffer?” In the first place, we must consider well, when we speak in this way, whether we ourselves are pure wheat. Do we not want to justify our own evil by these excuses? Furthermore, it should be clear that as good Christians, we should not despise or judge anyone. We know that only the Lord is the fairest Judge. We often exaggerate the faults of others, while the Lord knows all and is infinitely forgiving. We may not like to give someone else a second chance to better themselves, but we certainly expect the Lord to provide us with multiple options, so we do not perish. Indeed, when we dare to criticize someone, how often must the Lord warn us: “Why sees thou the mote in thy brother’s eye, and in thine own eye thou sees not the mote?” (Lk 6:41).
St. Paul advises us to be patient with evil, as the Lord is patient with us. When we forestall evil with patience, we find that we enlist the help of God. As good Christians, we can in no way condone the evil of the one who perpetrates it. We must accept him as a brother in need of help, which we show not by condemning him, but by being patient with him, by setting an example of good Christian living, and especially by praying for him. Let us know that the Lord despises only the sinner who does not want to improve himself.
There are indeed many tares among the wheat in the world. But if we reflect a little more honestly on the situation, we must admit that there is some good and some bad in ourselves, some wheat and some tares. And so, when we ask the Lord to be merciful and gracious to us, let us add to those we think are tares. So let us leave the judgment to the Lord, who bids us, “Let both grow until the harvest” (Matt. 13:30). There, the good of the good and the evil of the evil will be revealed.
Let us ask the Lord that we may find grace with Him and be able to be the good wheat in which the tares will not take hold.
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