A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The evil within

The parable of the weeds, explained by our Lord in today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:36-43), is quite frank in saying that evil exists, that there are people who may be called “children of the Evil One”, and that the Devil is at work in the world.

Many people in the world today dismiss this kind of talk as primitive and mythological. Indeed, there are some who even deny that evil exists (at a time when monstrous evils are being perpetrated all around the globe and when the most horrific evils of history are still within living memory).

To be sure, there are some today who fully embrace the concept of “children of the Evil One”, but only on the most superficial of levels, and who are totally focused on a bogeyman hunt that actually feeds the power of evil.

The truth is that evil does exist and that there are beings totally bent on evil, both in the physical and the spiritual realms.

But a bogeyman hunt is a dangerous errand.

Consider the parable. The good seed did not concern themselves with the weeds, but rather with growing upward toward heaven.

Also, while we can and must evaluate the deeds and patterns of activity done by those around us and then must ourselves take action as appropriate, God alone is the judge.

Although we must be honest about the evil men do, it is not our part to declare any man a child of the Evil One: the judgment belongs to God and the harvesting belongs to his angels.

There is another level at which this parable may be understood: that the field is not just the world around us but also the world within us.

By his grace, God has planted good seed within us, but we must beware of the seeds of evil that may have been sown within us as well: seeds of doubt, temptation, hate, fear, and selfishness; seeds that blossom into the weeds of sin.

These seeds may lie deep within us, sown sometime within our complex lives, and we may not recognize them until they have sprouted into weeds of sin that sometimes seem intractable.

May we pray always that the Lord of the harvest may preserve and protect the good that is within us and deliver us from the seeds and the weeds within.