Matthew 13:29

But he said, Nay; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
The workers of the householder wanted to go and gather up the weeds, but they were not allowed to do so. Though they indeed wanted to gather them up, they were not allowed to separate the weeds. They did what they were suited for and left it to the angels to do the separation. At first they were unwilling to leave the separation of the weeds up to the angels. But the householder, who knew them all and saw that a separation was necessary, ordered them to put up with the weeds and not to separate them. In answer to their words, “Do you want us to go and gather them up?” he replied, “No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.” “Therefore, Lord, will the weeds also be with us in the barn?” “At harvest time I will say to the reapers, ‘Gather up first the weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn. Allow what you do not have with you in the barn to grow in the field.’ ” ..

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Quaest in Matt., q. 12: Or otherwise; When a man begins to be spiritual, discerning between things, then he begins to see errors; for he judges concerning whatsoever he hears or reads, whether it departs from the rule of truth; but until he is perfected in the same spiritual things, he might be disturbed at so many false heresies having existed under the Christian name, whence it follows, “And the servants of the householder coming to him said unto him, Didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it tares?And no wonder if they are also signified bythe good seed; for the same thing admits of different likenesses according toits different significations; as speaking of Himself He says that He is the door, He is the shepherd. And when the servants of God knew that it was the Devil who had contrived this fraud, whereby when he found that he had no power in open warfare against aMaster of such great name, he had introduced his fallacies under cover of that name itself, the d...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
No, lest The prayers of repenting sinners are never despised. We are taught also by this example not to cut off too hastily a fallen brother; for, whatever he may be to-day, to-morrow perhaps he may see his error and embrace the truth. (St. Jerome). Jesus Christ exhorts us to bear with infidels and heretics, not on our own account only, as wicked men are frequently of use to the virtuous, but also on their account; for sometimes the persons who have been corrupted and perverted, will return to the paths of virtue and truth. Let, therefore, both grow until the harvest, i.e. to the day of judgment, when the power of rectifying another's error shall be no more. (St. Augustine in St. Thomas Aquinas) When many are implicated in one misfortune, what remains but to bewail their condition. Let us then be willing to correct our brethren to the utmost of our power, but let it be always with mercy, charity and compassion; what we cannot correct, let us bear with patience, permitting what God pe...


AD 420
He set forth also this other parable, as it were a rich householder refreshing his guests with various meats, that each one according to the nature of his stomach might find some food adapted to him. He said not ‘a second parable, 'but “another;” for had He said ‘a second,’ we could not have looked for athird; but another prepares us for many more. The Devil is called a man that is an enemy because he has ceased to be God; and in the ninth Psalm it is written of him, “Up, Lord, and Let not man have the upper hand.” Wherefore let not him sleep that is set over the Church, lest through his carelessness the enemy should sow therein tares, that is, the dogmas of the heretics. But this seems to contradict that command, “Put away the evil from among you.” For if the rooting up be forbidden, and we are to abide inpatience till the harvest-time, how are we to cast forth any from among us? But between wheat and tares (which in Latin we call, ‘lolium’) so long as it is only in blade, before the ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
What then does the Master? He forbids them, saying, Lest haply ye root up the wheat with them. And this He said, to hinder wars from arising, and blood and slaughter. For it is not right to put a heretic to death, since an implacable war would be brought into the world. By these two reasons then He restrains them; one, that the wheat be not hurt; another, that punishment will surely overtake them, if incurably diseased. Wherefore, if you would have them punished, yet without harm to the wheat, I bid you wait for the proper season. But what means, Lest ye root up the wheat with them? Either He means this, If you are to take up arms, and to kill the heretics, many of the saints also must needs be overthrown with them; or that of the very tares it is likely that many may change and become wheat. If therefore ye root them up beforehand, you injure that which is to become wheat, slaying some, in whom there is yet room for change and improvement. He does not therefore forbid our checking ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom., xlvi: In the foregoing parable the Lord spoke to such as do not receive the word of God; here of those who receive a corrupting seed. This is the contrivance of the Devil, ever to mix error with truth. He then points out the manner of the Devil’s snares, saying, “While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares in the midst of he wheat, and departed.” He hereshews that error arose after truth, as indeed the course of events testifies; for the false prophets came after the Prophets, the false apostles after the Apostles, and Antichrist after Christ. For unless the Devil sees somewhat to imitate, and some to lay in wait against, he does not attempt any thing.Therefore because he saw that this man bears fruit an hundred, this sixty, and this thirtyfold, and that he was not able to carry off or to choke that which had taken root, he turns to other insidious practices, mixing up his own seed, which is a counterfeit of the true, and thereby imposes upon such as are proneto be deceived. ...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
And it should be noted that, when He says, “Sowed good seed,” He intends that good will which is in the elect; when He adds, “An enemy came,” He intimates that watch should be kept against him; when as the tares grow up, He suffers itpatiently, saying, “An enemy hath done” this, He recommends to us patience; when He says, “Lest haply in gathering the tares” He sets us an example of discretion; when He says, “Suffer both to grow together till the harvest,” He teaches us long-suffering; and, lastly, He inculcates justice, when He says, “Bind them into bundles to burn.”

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Here He calls the Son of God Himself the kingdom of heaven; for He saith, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that sowed good seed in his field.”. They came to the Lord not with the body, but with the heart and desire of the soul; and from Him they gather that this was done by the craft of the Devil, whence it follows, “And he saith unto them, An enemy hath done this.”. It follows, “And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them.” The harvestis the season of reaping which here designates the day of judgment, in which the good are to be separated from the bad.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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