Tuesday of Week 17 in Ordinary Time
“Then the virtuous will shine like the sun”
The problem of evil and suffering is one that plagues many people. If there is a God and He is good, some might argue, then He should not allow the presence of evil in the world. Since evil is bad and causes suffering, it should be removed, so that things remain good. I have always thought that this was too narrow and simplistic a notion, as this would be akin to wishing that every human being is perfect.
In the gospel for today, Jesus explains the parable of the wheat and the weeds (named as darnel in some translations). Darnel is a plant poisonous to humans and livestock, and it survives by mimicking the appearance of wheat. This makes it extremely difficult to remove them when they are growing amongst the crop. Their roots also become interwined with those of the wheat, ensuring their coexistence.
The key message of the parable is that we should have patience with the presence of evil in the world, as it will ultimately be rooted out at the final judgement. Oftentimes, it is easy to get riled up with the bad things that are happening to us and around us, but it is more important that we make the effort to develop habits that cultivate the wheat and be rid of habits that encourage the growth of weeds. One practical way to use scripture as a guide, as suggested by Bishop Robert Barron, is to pay particular attention to the verses that make us uncomfortable. That discomfort is a signal to work on those particular areas in ourselves on our ongoing journey of transformation.
(Today’s Oxygen by Edith Koh)
Prayer: We pray for the patience to live with the difficult situations and people in our lives. We also pray for the grace of daily conversion, so that we may not be the wickedness faced by others, but the conduit of God’s grace.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the mercy and compassion of the Lord.