- The good seed and the
(Mathew 13, 24-31)
Very often Jesus spoke in parables. That is to say he was
telling a story taken from daily life to make understand something
of the Kingdom he was announcing. The parable of the good seed
and the darnel recalls the experiences that farmers have.
We have a farmer who sowed his field with good seed, and
then an enemy who sowed darnel, a bad seed. As soon as the farmer's
men saw the darnel, when the wheat sprouted and began to fill
out, and wishing to do well, they proposed to gather the darnel.
But the farmer stopped them;" No, in gathering it you might
pull out the wheat at the same time. Let them both grow together
- The farmer's men wanted to have things clean and in order,
they were driven by the simple logic "this one or that one"
the logic of "or" that excludes. Either the good seed
or the darnel but not both, in that case darnel has to be removed,
because it is the evil. Sure, evil disturbs us, where does it
come from? Who is this enemy, who deceitfully slips into our
intentions, decisions and actions? We don't want our original
efforts to be obliterated and spontaneously we want to preserve
their success. However in real life things are more complex and
not easy to analyze.
Good and evil are inextricably mixed and they are not easy
to distinguish. An evil can become a good and inversely. Don't
gather too soon; don't condemn too fast what seems evil.
The logic of the Master is that of "and, and" Let them
grow one and the other", good seed and darnel. The logic
of "and/and" does not allow a separation; it is global
and emphasizes what is common: the two plants are growing in
the same field. Consequently this logic keeps opposed terms in
conflict. This conflict is not specifically comfortable to live
with, when our field of action is the world. This logic is confusing
and prevents us to distinguish good from evil and we can fear
that evil will win. For that reason we would wish to suppress
violence in TV shows or movies that can influence the young ones,
we would wish to get rid of dictators who abolish democracy and
freedom of their people, we would like to wipe out advertising
posters in which women are portrayed as sexual object. We would
like to free our society of robbers and criminals of any kind
or to remove all wrongdoings that discredit the Church
We see quickly where these legitimate actions mislead us or have
already misled us in the past. In destroying evil, or what we
estimate from our point of view to be evil, we risk to destroy
also the good. We necessarily have to accept their coexistence
until harvest. Shall we do nothing and let evil win? Fighting
against evil, that we do not distinguish well any way, might
not be our first task; what is more important is to make and
develop good and give good a chance.
Jesus explains that harvest represents the end of the world,
of our world. Only at that time, a weighing of our deeds could
be done and sorted. Is it coming back to the logic of "
or/or". Darnel is burned and wheat is gathered in loft.
- Things have become clear again. Other presentations of
the end of the world in the Gospel let us suppose that we might
be surprised by the results of the final sorting. The just persons
are not those we thought. We see the sinners and the prostitutes
preceding us in the Kingdom. We should rather see in this ultimate
time a third logic that integrates the first two others, we can
define it like "either this, either that or either both".
This logic of complexity is the only way to grasp the meanderings
of human life. The logic of "and/and" forces us to
wait, to be patient and tolerant. From this, new things can rise
and good could come out of evil. It is because the schema of
"either good seed or darnel" is too simple, even childish,
that we have to go through a messy disorder and mixture.
- To walk side by side with a person that we think is dangerous,
is the only way to know him and perhaps to appreciate him. The
logic of coexistence, of half-breeding, of dialogue, is the only
way to overcome fear that presses us to exclude. Hoping for the
best, a new order, more valuable, with more justice can come
out and take into account the various factors of human life,
without forgetting the action of a merciful God.
How astonishing is the Gospel that can deal in simple terms
with truths that are difficult to understand! Jesus knew it when
he concluded his parable by "Hear who has ears!" and
further in the Gospel when he asked to his disciples "Did
you understand all this?"