At the time of Jesus the people believed that the coming of the Messiah would be the start of a Kingdom where there would be only good people. And what about evil? What was going to happen to the wicked? Simple: they would be burnt up by fire from heaven! John the Baptist predicted about the coming of the Messiah saying: "His winnowing fan is in his hand; he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat in his hand; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go into the barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out" (Mt. 3:12). Even the disciples of Jesus shared his thinking (Lk. 9:54). But Jesus did not approve of or share this kind of thinking at all. He held the Baptist in great esteem, but he did not want to hear any talk of fire. He not only never intended to destroy sinners, but he welcomed them into his house, he invited them to share his meals, he kept company with thieves, heretics, prostitutes. In short, he was not that energic Messiah everybody expected and, as a matter of fact, at his death there was no change to be seen in the world: evil was still there. Fifty years after the death of Jesus, Matthew, now an old man, looks around and what does he see? There is still a lot of evil in the world. There is also some good, it is true, but side by side with it evil grows luxuriantly. The Christians of his community keep asking him: what kind of Kingdom did Jesus start if it cannot destroy evil once for all? The evangelist gives the answer to this question in the parable of the weeds. The servants would like to destroy all the weeds, eliminate them. Why doesn't the owner accept their advice? He keeps his calm; he does not show surprise, and does not share their anxiety. His answer (that takes up more than a third of the whole parable) reveals to us the attitude of God towards the evil that exists in the world, in the Church, and in every individual. Good and evil, says the owner, cannot be separated, they have to grow up together and it will be like that to the end of time. The separation will take place, but not this year, not today, not immediately. Why can it not be done immediately? The line separating good from evil does not pass in the space between individuals, or between different groups of people, or between nation and nation; it passes within the heart of every person. We find good and evil in every person. That's why it is not possible to intervene with fire from heaven: everything would then be destroyed, the evil as well as the good. Even the most wicked of people have, together with a lot of weeds, some good grain in themselves; why burn it up also? "Keep calm!" says the owner of the field. People are instinctively led to divide humankind into two groups: the good and the wicked, the friends and the enemies. The tragic consequence of such a distinction is intolerance and the desire to solve problems rapidly and violently. Thus we might have believers who, since they cannot do all this personally, ask God to intervene to judge and punish. The readings of today tell us very clearly that God will never carry out these crazy wishes. The gospel tells us to accept with peace of mind the presence of evil in the world, and invites us to recognize the weeds present also in our hearts, and it assures us that the love of God will one day destroy all evil.