Dealing with the good and evil in the world

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

We are reminded of this peculiar character of our earthly condition in that parable Christ told his disciples about a man who sowed good seed in his farm but an enemy also sowed weeds in it. (cfr. Mt 13,24-43) Yes, in this life, we have to contend with the confusing mixture of good and evil, and we just have to know how to deal with that condition properly.

In that parable, when the weeds started to appear, the farm workers suggested to the owner to remove them. But the owner told them to let the weeds be in the meantime, because removing them at that time might also harm the good plants. Anyway, there will be harvest time when the weeds can be separated from the good plants.

This is the proper way to deal with the unavoidable evil in this world. We obviously have to try our best to prevent them from coming. As they say, prevention is better than cure. But if they do come, we should try our best to isolate them or even to remove them if they do not cause greater harm to us. Otherwise, we should just wait for the appropriate time to separate the evil from the good.

This confusing mixture of good and evil is very much present especially in the field of politics. That is why we should be most careful in expressing our views and position with respect to the different political issues at hand. We have to avoid becoming too partisan or too attached to our position that we cannot see the good that the other side may also have.

In this regard, it should be clear that the clergy should stay away from making public partisan statements. If ever some statements have to be made, they should highlight the positive aspects of the issue while advising or even warning against the possible dangers that can arise. The statements should be in such a tone as to avoid being regarded as partisan. The clergy should be for both the pros and the cons wherever the real human and Christian values can be found.

The parable cited above actually can tell us many things. For one, it seems to tell us that we should be patient and tolerant of everybody, especially of those who are clearly in error and are causing us some trouble. In spite of how they are, they are still our brothers and sisters, all children of God who may have strayed from the right path and are in need of help actually.

In other words, we have to learn how to bear with everyone. We have to broaden our mind and heart to be able to accommodate everyone in our heart, including those who are so different from us in some respects, and those who are precisely giving us trouble, being clearly in error and are making offense. We have to learn to suffer, since suffering is an unavoidable consequence of evil.

In all this, we should never lose our peace and concern for everyone. In fact, those who have strayed, we have to seek out, just like what the good shepherd did in the parable of the lost sheep (cfr. Mt 18,12-14)

That is part of the charity as described by Christ. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” he said. (Mt 5,44) “If any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also…”

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