The First Reading shows God’s reaction when he sees what happens to his people when they reject him: my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter is struck down with a crushing blow. The people reject God and now, they are suffering. In the streets, lay those slain by the sword. In the city, is famine. Jeremiah gives the reason: both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land and have no knowledge. Those who were supposed to lead God’s people to him have no knowledge. They teach their own beliefs, misleading people instead of leading people to God. Which is why the people forget about the law. The priests and false prophets teach the knowledge of men rather than the wisdom of God. When the people realize their sins, they admit their sins and turn back to God: we acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors, for we have sinned against you. Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne, remember and do not break your covenant with us… Can any idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the heavens give shower? Is it not you, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for it is you who do all this. The people realize who helps them, so they turn back to God. This is the repentance God seeks. One that acknowledges his power to save. The Psalm begs God to save them.
What the First Reading tells us is there is no excuse for ignorance. We cannot blindly believe any person who pretends to speak about the faith. In the case of Judah, the prophets and priests themselves speak without knowledge. They teach error. In the end, we are responsible for our salvation. We cannot depend on others to lead us to Jesus, because only the Holy Spirit leads us to Christ and it is our decision that determines whether we are saved by Christ or not.
The parable in the Gospel shows the disciples asking Jesus to explain something they do not understand. This is the attitude we must have when we come to Jesus. We should not be afraid to ask Jesus to reveal the truth to us, to teach us the Truth, because as in his parable, the weeds grow with the wheat. It is only through careful examination that we discover which is true teaching and which is false teaching. But we will determine this only by coming to Jesus and allowing him to teach us. For Catholics, we believe true teaching was handed by Jesus to the Apostles, who handed it to their successors. It is this handing down of Sacred Tradition that later formed what we recognize as Scripture. So we need to interpret Scripture according to the teaching of the Apostles. We need to recognize which of those who speak are faithful to the teaching of the Apostles and which are not. And just as the weeds are separated from the wheat to be burned, we must separate the false teaching from true teaching and reject false teaching.
Learn the faith. We cannot be content just by listening to people who teach. Jesus said, call no one Teacher, because you have one Teacher. We come to Jesus to seek the Truth and we learn only from Jesus through the teaching of the Apostles.
Lord, I want to know your Truth and not the opinions peddled by false priests and prophets who have no knowledge. Reveal the false prophets Lord, so I will reject their teaching. Instead, open my mind, so I may understand your Word through the power of your Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, reveal to me the Truth taught by Jesus through his Apostles.