Before reciting the Angelus prayer at noon today, Pope Francis explained the meaning of today’s Gospel reading and the parable of the wheat and the tares.
The parable, he said, is a teaching of Jesus which addresses “the problem of evil in the world and highlights the patience of God.”
The Pope explained how the Devil sows evil amidst the good seed of the world, but God is patient, separating the wheat and the tares at his final judgment. He stressed that unlike mankind, which is “sometimes in a hurry to judge, classify, place the good here and the bad beyond, God knows to wait.”
“He looks at the ‘field’ of every person’s life with patience and mercy,” the Pope said. “He sees much better than us the dirt and the evil, but He also sees the seeds of good and looks forward with confidence for them to mature. God is patient, he knows to wait.”
He pointed out that it is thanks to this “patient hope” of God that the same weeds, in the end, can become good wheat.
But he cautioned that evangelical patience does not mean indifference to evil. “One cannot make confusion between good and evil,” he said. Instead, the disciple is called to imitate the patience of God, “nourishing hope with the support of an unshakable faith in the ultimate victory of the good, that is of God. “
Eventually, he concluded, the evil will be removed and disposed of. On the day of the final harvest, the judge will be Jesus “who sowed good seed in the world and who himself became a “grain of wheat”, died and rose again.”
“At the end, we will all be judged by the same standards by which we judged: the mercy we gave to others will also be used with us,” the Pope said. “Let us ask the Virgin Mary, our Mother, to help us to grow in patience, hope and mercy.“