Our priest's sermon today was exactly what I needed to hear. The Gospel today was the parable of the farmer who sows good seed and at night an enemy comes and sows cockle (weed) seed over the wheat. No one knows what has been done until the seed sprouts and the workers start to notice that there is weed thoroughly intermingled with the wheat.
They are anxious and ask the farmer if they should pull out all the weed, but the Master tells them to have patience; let the weed grow along with the wheat. If they should pull up the weed now, they risk pulling out the young wheat and thereby ruining much of the crop. When the harvest time comes, they can then harvest all at once and separate the weed from the wheat. The weed will be bound and thrown in the furnace. The wheat will be gathered into His barn.
Wow! Sometimes the Gospel and sermon just blow me away!
Lately I've been thinking there are too many wrong-headed people in the world, too many sinners! Why can't God just get rid of all these bad people who screw up my idea of how the world should be?!
Today I hear "patience".
The day will come when the Master will separate the good from the bad, the wheat from the weed. It is His job; not mine. My job is to be patient, pray, practice charity, and of course to promote good/fight evil - but only in a spirit of charity. I have to allow God to work. The word patience comes from a French word meaning sufferance, permission and from a Latin word meaning endurance, submission. We patiently submit to Gods will and give Him permission to give us suffering. We endure it out of love and trust that He knows which way is the best way.
God is still holding the world in His hands and his eyes are on all. He will eventually come to harvest and separate.
Then the priest said that not only is there wheat and weed in the world, but also wheat and weed in each of our own hearts! What?
Yes, that's true, isn't it?
And although we must work on increasing virtue and decreasing vice, we must be patient with ourselves. Our hearts are human and divine. That will be so until the the end of time. We need to accept our sinfulness with patience because it keeps us humble. God can bring good even from sin. We are to be patient. Pray. Work for goodness in ourselves and in the world, but primarily in our own heart.
We must be patient.