Open Bible:
July 2004 

la bilbe 

The good seed and the darnel




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The good seed and the darnel
(Mathew 13, 24-31)

grain et ivraie

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 until harvest". 

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. 

le mal et le bien

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.

la moisson 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. 

méandres de la vie

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.

le bon grain 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?"