16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Gospel – Matthew 13:24-43
The parable of the wheat and the weeds describes the problem of evil in the world, a reality that the Catechism explores in several passages.
The devil is the “one who ‘throws himself across’ (dia–bolos) God’s plan…Through him sin and death entered the world” (paragraphs 2851-52).
God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because He respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it…
From the greatest moral evil ever committed – the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men – God brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption (311-12).
…We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of His providence are often unknown to us (314).
Only at the Last Judgment will we “know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation” and see how “God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by His creatures” (1040).
In the meantime, “in everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel” (827).
St. John Paul II, in Tertio Millennio Adveniente, commented on this aspect of the Church on earth.
At times her members have “indulged in ways of thinking and acting which were truly forms of counter-witness and scandal” (33), but nevertheless, the Church herself is like the mustard seed in the Gospel: “she has grown and become a great tree, able to cover the whole of humanity with her branches” (56).
Question for reflection: How has God been patient with me?