Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Recitation of the Angelus – July 20, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters, this Sunday's liturgy offers some evangelical parables, short stories that Jesus used to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven to the crowds. Among those in the Gospel reading of today, one that is rather complex, is Jesus' explanation to his disciples of the good wheat and the tares, which addresses the problem of evil in the world and highlights the patience of God (cf. Mt 13,24-30.36-43). The scene takes place in a field where the master sows the wheat. But one night the enemy comes and sows tares, a term that in Hebrew derives from the same word as "Satan" and refers to the concept of division. The servants would straight away cut away the bad weeds, but the master stops them for this reason: "Lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them. (Mt 13:29)”.
The teaching of the parable is twofold. First of all, he says that the evil in the world comes not from God but from the enemy, the Devil. This enemy is cunning: he sowed evil amidst the good, so that it is impossible for us to clearly separate them. But God, in the end, will do it.
And here we come to the second theme: the contrast between the impatience of servants and the patient waiting of the owner of the field, who represents God. We are sometimes in a hurry to judge, classify, place the good here and the bad beyond. But God knows to wait. He looks at the "field" of every person’s life with patience and mercy. He sees much better than us the dirt and the evil, but He also sees the seeds of good and looks forward with confidence for them to mature. God is patient, he knows to wait. The attitude of the owner is that of hope, founded on the certainty that evil has neither the first nor the last word. It is thanks to thispatient hope of God that the same weeds in the end, can become good wheat. But beware: evangelical patience is not indifference to evil. One cannot make confusion between good and evil! In the face of the weeds in the world, the disciple of the Lord is called to imitate the patience of God, nourishing hope with the support of an unshakable faith in the ultimate victory of the good, that is of God. In the end, in fact, the evil will be removed and disposed of. At the time of the harvest, that is the judgment, the reapers will perform the order of the master, separating the tares to burn (Mt 13:30). On that day of the final harvest, the judge will be Jesus, the One who sowed good seed in the world and who himself became a "grain of wheat", died and rose again. At the end we will all be judged by the same standards by which we judged: the mercy we gave to others will also be used with us. Let us ask the Virgin Mary, our Mother, to help us to grow in patience, hope and mercy.

I have learned with concern the news coming from Christian community in Mosul (Iraq) and in other parts of the Middle East, where, from the very beginning of Christianity, they lived with their fellow citizens, offering a significant contribution to the good of society. I invite you to remember them in prayer. I also urge you to persevere in prayer for situations of tension and conflict that persist in different parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and Ukraine. May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence will not be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace!

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