In today’s Gospel Jesus spoke the parable of the bad seed growing with the good seed.
In the history of the Church we see a community where so many lived wholesome, Christian lives. We look at Mother Teresa, St. Francis, Mary MacKillop, and so many ordinary men and women who lived heroic lives of service and self-sacrifice for others.
We also know that not all members of the Church lived exemplary lives. Judas betrayed Jesus!
When we read the Acts of the Apostles and the early letters of St. Paul and other New Testament scripture, we know that even in the early days there were those who were unfaithful to our Christian life. Right through history in the Church there have been saints and sinners living side by side. Jesus warned us that this would happen.
There were times when the Church needed great reformers. During these times, men and women reformers rose up to help reform the Church, e.g. St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Teresa of Avila, and so many others.
In our own times the sexual abuse tragedy has been an evil that has caused so much harm to so many!
The Church is composed of human beings. All have sinned. However, we do not need to be trapped by sin! We can be ‘born again’, we can leave the past behind. The power of God working within us can do so much more than we can dream or imagine!
Peter who disowned Jesus became the great leader of the Church. The great St. Augustine had his conversion. St. Mary Magdala from whom Jesus cast out demons became an Apostle to the Apostles. St. Oscar Romero who was a man who did initially conform to right wing oppressors, became a great prophet who was killed for his faith as he stood up to the oppression of the poor by the powerful!
So, in the Church indeed, we all need to aspire for holiness. That is our calling, each one of us in our different way, and different vocation.
We will hear of scandals, we will hear of members of the Church, including some leaders, who are acting as ‘bad seed’, and they can do much harm!
However, the promise of Jesus is to be with us always, even unto the end of time.
In today’s parable there is a reminder not to deviate from our own commitment to living as fruitful members of the Church.
The Church belongs to Jesus.
He will never abandon us; we can still be wounded healers and light of the world.
We can be a humble, healing servant Church!
Thanks be to God and his unconditional love!