GOD’S SAVING PATIENCE
(See Mt 13:24-30)
Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are living in a society where people always find themselves too busy to waste their time without being paid for. The saying “time is gold” becomes more exact than ever.
Consequently, people do not want to wait simply because they hate spending their time doing nothing. Patience, therefore, almost disappears from everyday’s vocabulary.
The workers found weeds sown along with wheat in the field. They reported the happening to the master and asked him whether he wanted them to uproot the weeds. The answer was “No”. Why “No”? “Because”, he said, “you may also uproot the wheat together with the weeds.” “So, what are you to deal with the problem?” “My solution is this: we wait until the harvest comes. It will be then much easier for us to distinguish the wheat from the weeds, and as a result of this, we are able to treat them in a proper and just way.”
The Gospel message could in no way be more timely and accurate considering all that we witness in our today’s society.
We see good guys and bad ones live, talk, and walk all along. They eat the same food, breath the same air, and speak the same human language. However, they are not totally identical. The differences between them can be recognized as follows:
The good guys work hard for the happiness of all fellow humans. The bad ones work only for their personal interest. Sometimes the good guys seem to be uncomfortable because the bad ones grow bigger and bigger in number, and more and more aggressive.
We see in shocking pain Malaysian flight MH 17 shot down by terrorists in Ukraine just three days ago.
We see in paralyzing fear religious intolerance by the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
We see in unquenchable anger violations of justice and peace by Communist China in the East Sea.
The good guys keep their lives in the path of reason, conscience, and God’s Commandments. The bad ones just rely on the rule of their muscle, and the reason of their guns.
When we are about to run out of our patience, we cannot but react the way the workers in the Gospel did. “O my Lord”, we more than once say in moments of anger and hatred, “why do you not wipe out those dangerous viruses from the body of this world?” But seldom do we get any answer. When it happens that we could receive one, this must be: “Be patient, wait for the due time of God’s plan.”
While waiting in trust in God’s merciful love and saving power we learn the following:
One, He is the Master, we are just servants. We are encouraged to present our proposals and initiatives to Him but let Him have the last say, trusting that He is in full control of the world and people dwelling in it.
Two, we are assigned by the Master of history to sow into the field of this world more good seeds which are works of love, compassion, forgiveness, respect for human dignity, truth, justice, and peace. We are told by Him sent us into this community of human persons to be through good examples the light of the world, and salt of the earth.
Three, never and by no means will we lend our names and faces to the forces of evil. Let us stop now scandalous practices such as littering and spitting in public places, violating traffic law, offering and receiving envelops, telling lies because of fear or immoral interests, playing blind and deaf in the face of injustices and violations of human rights.
Of course we will be ridiculed, rejected, persecuted, and even killed, by the bad guys. Yet only by being suffered for the sake of God’s great cause, can we become like yeast mixed with the dough of this society and turn it into delicious and nourishing bread for all people.
Four, we come to know God’s saving patience thanks to which we are the first to survive Divine Justice and deserve Divine Mercy, as does verse 3 of Psalm 130 read: “If you, Lord, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand?”
By so doing, we obey the command of Our Lord in Matthew 5:48 that says “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The Master shows His saving patience in order for all sinners to repent and to be worthy of His Kingdom.