Saturday, July 28, 2012

“Don't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day.”

"Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is much too busy with her children." – St. John Marie Vianney

(Gospel Text: Mt 13:24-30)
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
"The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?'
He answered, 'An enemy has done this.'
His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
'First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

Imagine that as spring approaches, your flower and vegetable gardens begin to display so many signs of life: growth, color, and sweet fragrances. But then you start noticing weeds that are growing alongside your plants. You try to pull them out, but you end up pulling up the roots of the flowers and vegetables as well because they haven’t had time to take root in the ground. So you let them grow side by side until the garden is full grown. Then it’s so much easier to remove the weeds!

Later in this chapter, we will read how the one who sowed the good seed is the Father, and the enemy who secretly sowed the weeds is the devil. We will learn that Jesus doesn’t want us to try to uproot all the weeds prematurely, lest we damage the tender roots of the good seed he has sown. Better to leave the harvesting and the discernment of wheat from weeds to the angels at the end of time!

Day after day, Jesus seeks to sow words of comfort, encouragement, peace, and perseverance in our hearts. At the same time, the devil is always trying to sow words of doubt, fear, discouragement, and confusion.
Now you could spend all of your time trying to tear out the negative thoughts. But this approach leads to an unhealthy introspection and self­centeredness a toxic environment that is incapable of nourishing the good seeds of God’s word.

Let’s say that you sense the Holy Spirit encouraging you to be hopeful, but then all of a sudden you begin to feel discouraged? How about if you felt inspired to help someone or evangelize them but then thoughts of fear, doubt, and rejection started creeping in? What should you do? Try to get rid of all the bad thoughts before you act on the good ones? Or step out in faith despite these inner objections? Jesus would tell you: “Step out! Let the good seeds take root, and leave the bad thoughts to me and my angels.”

So the next time you feel torn between good and evil, ignore the evil and choose the good. Act on Jesus’ words and let them take root in your soul. Over time, you’ll find that the weeds are being choked off as you bear more and more fruit for the kingdom!

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