The wheat and the weeds
It’s good to review that wonderful parable about the wheat and the weeds and to savor the great lesson it gives us. (cfr. Mt 13,24-30) To be sure, the parable is very relevant these days as there is a crying need to sharpen our skill at discerning between the good and the evil that in today’s world are so mixed up that we often would not know which is which.
Christ tells us to be patient with that predicament. We should not over-react by uprooting what we consider as the weeds, or the evil elements in our life, because most likely we would cause more harm than good that way.
“No,” the master in the parable told his servants who suggested that they uproot the weeds, “because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.” (Mt 13,29) The condition is so complicated that we would not really have the precision to distinguish one from the other.
Let’s not forget that the way things are nowadays, the evil things can look like the good things, and vice-versa, the good things can also look like the bad things. In fact, there are times when what may begin as something good can turn bad due to lack of rectitude of intention, and also vice-versa, what may begin as bad may turn to be something good when a conversion takes place. These are confusing times!
To top it all, the confusing condition is not limited only to our surroundings. It can start at our very own selves. Remember the lament of St. Paul: “In my inner being I delight in God’s law. But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom 7,22-24)
Of course, we are told not to over-react to this condition because as St. Paul again said: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Rom 5,20) We should never forget this divinely-inspired reassurance.
Christ has advised us just to wait till the time of real reckoning comes when the truly good things would be separated from the bad things, and their due reward or penalty would be given. We are told that at that time, what is hidden now will be uncovered, what is spoken in the dark will be heard in the daylight. (cfr. Lk 12,2)
In the meantime, we should try our best to be truly guarded, ever sharpening our knowledge about what is truly good and bad, and deepening our virtue of patience. Of course, in all of this, what is important is that we identify ourselves with Christ more and more.
That’s because only with Christ would we know what is good and bad. Only with him also would we know how to be patient, how to suffer out of love for God and for everybody. The true face of evil, of sin can only be identified if our relation with God who is revealed to us by Christ is strong.
In this regard, the Catechism says: “To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the profound relation of man to God, for only in this relationship is the evil of sin unmasked in its true identity as humanity’s rejection of God and opposition to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.” (CCC 386)
The question to ask and the challenge to tackle now is how can we make our relation with God so strong that we be very sharply discerning of what is good and evil, and at the same time be patient and strong enough to be able to bear the unavoidable evil we will always have in the world?*
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