5th Sunday After Epiphany The Gospel Matt.13:24-30. Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 13:24-30
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming said to him. 'Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then hath it cockle?' And he said to them: 'An enemy hath done this.' And the servants said to him: 'Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?' And he said: 'No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: 'Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.' "
Christ, before he proposed this parable, of one that sowed good seed in his ground; and another that over sowed it, with Cockle; proposed this of seed, some that fell by the way side, some upon stony ground, some amongst thorns, all which miscarried; and some in good ground, which brought forth fruit.
That parable he expounded of himself without as king: this not, will he was asked, for when Christ had dismissed the people, and came into a house, his disciples came to him, and prayed him to expounded it unto them.
Christ expounded it thus: he that sowed the good seed, (quoth he) is the son of man; the field where he sowed it, is the world; the good seed, those who are children of the Kingdom; The cockle, the evil children; the enemy that sowed it, the devil; the harvest, the consummation of the end of the world; the reapers, the Angels.
Out of this, that Christ expounded some parables, and other some not: he would give us to understand, that others have their expositions as well as these (and so have other Texts of holy scripture, which, as Saint Peter saith, are commonly hard) yea, and have not only one sense but diverse; yea the holy Ghost, who is the indighter of the Scripture, hath done it with that infinite wisdom, and knowledge, that is comprehended all the expositions whatsoever the wit, and wisdom of men can invent; yea, and intended the same, so they be (as Saint Paul saith) with sobriety, that is to say, so they do not deviate and dissent from the known, and receive doctrine of the holy Catholic Church.
These expositions Christ would have some men to search out, and know, that they might have to instruct, and teach the ignorant: as he did here his disciples. But who are these men? not the common people, for they (as Saint Peter saith) being unlearned, and unstable, and the scriptures hard for the most part to be understood, are apt to pervert and deprave them to their own perdition: but such as are learned, such as have been trained up in schools, and universities of learning, such as are divines, such as are father, Doctors, and governors of the Church.
When Christ in the gospel said unto some, Search the Scriptures, to whom did he speak? not to the common people, but to the Scribes, and Pharisees that were learned, the Doctors of the Law, and teachers of the people. The common people, St. Peter (as aforesaid) stem, to dissuade from it, as a pernicious thing: and surely Saint Peter is not contrary to Christ. The common people must do as the disciples here did. (whose persons in that they represent) ask of their pastors, and teachers, ask of the doctors, and fathers of the Church as they did ask of Christ, and in asking, the more diligent they are, the better it is for them, and the more they are to be commended. Let them be attentive when they are taught, & endeavor to keep it in mind: so did Christ admonish the people sometimes, before he indoctrinated, & taught them: especially if his doctrine were hard, saying unto them, let him that hath ears of hearing hear: that is, let him that purposes to profit by hearing, attend carefully to what I say.