By Fr. Frank Timar, M.S.C.
Every one of us has a few regrets, but what we regret more than anything else is the fact that bad things happen to good people! Everywhere we look, we see a lot of tragic things. The forces of nature cause great destruction. Hatred and greed take over and rule the world. Innocent people are just going about their everyday responsibilities and they are being killed or maimed by other children of God who refuse to accept that we are brothers and sisters. Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind when He told His parable about the weeds and the wheat. The servants in the story, wonder where the weeds came from, and they ask for permission from the sower to go and pull up the weeds. The master tells them not to do so because they might uproot the wheat along with the weeds. He tells them to let them grow together until the harvest.Jesus’ words are a great comfort, because we live in a world where there is much confusion about right and wrong. We turn to the Bible and look for assurances that evil will be punished, and that makes it easy for us to justify war and violence. Violent acts steal our hopes for peace and we conclude that only human cleverness and spying on the enemies are our best weapons to overcome our fears. The plan of those who terrorize and kill peace-loving people has been to make us forget that we belong to God who created us and has compassion for us. Depending on human power will not save us. Trusting in God, because we are adopted children of God, will save us.
It is not our job to retaliate or to seek revenge. We are reminded of Jesus’ command to love our enemies. God cares for every one of His creations, and that includes our beautiful earth and all of nature, so God wants us to continue to live together with those who don’t trust in His goodness. We are not meant to be the only people permitted to live on this earth. We are meant to share this earth with with those who do good and those who do evil. We might want to weed out all those who cause evil in our world, but Jesus raises a serious and challenging question: Are there some people that we don’t want next to us in heaven, or even anywhere in heaven?