In our Gospel today, we heard the parable of the wheat and the weeds. The slaves of the master wanted to try to pull up the weeds, but the master said ‘no’ to their request. During the darker parts of history, some nations and institutions thought they could tell the difference between good and evil people. So they persecuted many innocent men and women based only on outward appearance. How many people have been put to death by justice systems around the world because they were convicted of crimes they never committed? Judging some people as good and others as evil is a very dangerous and precarious business.
This does not mean that there is no place for judgements. In our day to day life, we need to make judgments all the time. Don’t we make judgments every time we choose one person over another? You need to do this when you are choosing a marriage partner, hiring an employee, looking for a baby sitter and so on. We make certain decisions based on what we can discover about another person.
But when it comes down to proclaiming that another person is good or bad, and acting on that judgement, we need to exercise extreme caution. The parable teaches us that it is not always easy to distinguish the good from the bad. Sometimes the person I think is bad, turns out to be good, and the person I first thought to be good, turns out to be bad. The parable teaches us not to be quick in our judgments. This is the only sure way of protecting the good. In fact, don’t most of us struggle with the evil we find within ourselves? Sometimes the wheat and the weeds are growing together in the same person. If we only look at what we do wrong, we can soon end up in despair. God doesn’t just see us as sinners, but as beloved sons and daughters.
“We help, we lead others to Jesus with our words and our lives, with our witness. I like to recall what St. Francis of Assisi used to say to his friars: ‘Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.’” (Pope Francis). Enjoy these days of summer….and a special welcome to all those visiting our parish. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish