How often have we heard comments such as:
- “Why go to Mass when the people there are no different from the people who do not go to Mass?”
- “Look at her…she prays so fervently but look how she mistreats her household help.”
- “I heard that even within the different organizations and ministries, there is so much intrigue and gossip.”
Even people who serve the Church at times wrestle with this reality. How can people invoke God in their everyday lives and yet be so bad to the people around them?
In St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives the imagery of the Wheat and the Weeds. This is a reminder that anywhere, there is good and bad. There are people who are good and people who are evil.
Yet, as we withhold judgment, three things we remember:
- We are all sinners – Jesus once said, “Before you remove the speck in your brother’s eye, be sure to remove the log on your own eye.” In our very own lives, we both have “wheats” and “weeds.” Thus, who are we to judge.
- The people around us are there for a reason and purpose – Sometimes, it is so hard to understand why there are people who can be so evil. Yes, even in the Church. This should not be a surprise. St. Paul reminds us that the greatest battle in this world cannot be seen. Public enemy no. 1 of the devil is none other than the Church. However, the promise of the Lord is that even the gates of the netherworld will not prevail over her.
- “All that is needed for evil to prevail is for the good people to keep quiet.” This was once said by an American president. Indeed, this is so true. Despite the evil around us and the persecution that we will experience if we stand for the truth, God will always be with us.
We pray that amidst our very own “Weeds” in life, we continue to be faithful to the vocation that God has given us. This is the surest way to be a “Wheat.”