Pope Francis on Sunday reminded the faithful of God’s infinite patience and of the fact that “we are all sinners”.
Addressing those gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus, the Pope reflected on the Gospel of the day remarking on the fact that “the boundary between good and evil runs through the heart of each of us”.
The reading in question tells of how wheat and weeds were sown in the same field illustrating, the Pope said; “the problem of evil in the world” and emphasizing the Lord’s patience.
God, he said, sows good seed while Satan sows weeds. In the parable the householder’s slaves would like to pull the weeds out, but the master objects saying the wheat might be uprooted along with the weeds and he invites them to let them grow together until harvest.
“With this image – the Pope explained – Jesus tells us that in this world good and evil are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate them and to extinguish all evil. Only God can do this, and he will do it in the Last Judgment.
So, Francis continued, in all of its ambiguity and complexity the situation represents the reality of Christian freedom in which we are called to exercise the difficult discernment between good and evil.
Thus Pope Francis exhorted the faithful to combine two seemingly contradictory attitudes: choice and patience: “the choice to be good wheat” distancing oneself from the seductions of evil; while “patience” – he said – means preferring to be part of a Church that “is not afraid of getting its hands dirty” by being close to its soiled children, rather than of a righteous Church that expresses judgement before time.
Pope Francis continued his catechesis inviting us to recognize that we are all sinners and reminding us that good and evil cannot be boxed into defined areas or groups of people, because the “line between good and evil runs through the heart of every person”.
And reminding those present that with his Resurrection Jesus has freed us from the slavery of sin and given us the grace to walk a new life, and that with Baptism he also gave us the sacrament of Reconciliation because we always need to be forgiven our sins, the Pope concluded exhorting us to see not only the bad and the evil, but also the good and the beautiful in the world that surrounds us trusting always in God’s promise of redemption.
After praying the Angelus with those present in the Square, Pope Francis made a hearfelt appeal for moderation and dialogue follwoing the flare of violence in Jerusalem.