Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pull Up Those Weeds!

Last night at Mass,  I listened to the parable in Matthew about the man who sowed wheat in his fields only to find that during the night, enemies had come and sowed weeds among the wheat. The man's servants asked him if they should pull up the weeds and were promptly told no, that in doing so, they also run the risk of pulling up the wheat along with the weeds, that they should wait til the harvest then bundle up the weeds and cast them in the fire to burn. The wheat would then be free to be harvested also and stored in the barns.

At first glance, I could see the analogy of this parable describing what we experience today and what mankind has experienced since the fall of Adam, that the world was now in a weakened state and has always had good and evil people living side by side, both seemingly enjoying the graces of God. I always saw this as God being merciful, allowing the evil people the chance to repent and turn to Him. Yet, in the back of my mind, I always wondered if it would not be better for God to just remove the evil from our midst and just leave the good. That would solve a whole lot of problems would it not? Then it hit me after I reread this part of the parable: 


" ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them."

None of us are saints, but we are saints in the making. We cannot say we are without sin for all have sinned. I see two types of sinners: those of us who know sin is evil and we repent, promising to amend our lives, and those of us that see nothing wrong with sin, and continue to live our lives as if there will be no consequence to our sinfulness. We all have free wills to choose between loving God and not loving God. If God roots out all evil in the world, all evil temptations, all evil actions, what would be the use of free will then? No use at all. There would be no choosing between good and evil which means we are not free to love God of our own choosing. If we are not free to choose then there is no free will, and what we think in terms of love today would not be love. We would be robots pre-programmed to obey and accept what is before us without a choice. Free will is a gift from God that even God will not take away from us.

Which brings me to this other thought...If we are still sinners, though repentant, do we not still harbor evil within our hearts? And if the harvesters are told to pull up the evil before the harvest, do we not run the risk of being pulled up along with the weeds of the field because of our own sinfulness that still abides within us? Perhaps the strategy of waiting until the harvest and allowing all, time to repent and turn to God is the better strategy eh? Who is the recipient of God's mercy now?

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