Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Today’s Epistle (from the 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Col. 3.12-17), presents to us the ideal of the Christian life which is the distinctive mark of God’s elect: the duty of charity.
The spiritual life requires the use of so many means, calls for the exercise of so many virtues that care must be taken lest we become lost in details, forgetting the supernatural virtue of charity (that love flowing from the side of Christ to our hearts; not the natural inclination to something ‘good’ which even the wicked are still capable of) which should be the foundation and end of all. Of what value is the spiritual life, consecration to God, or even the vows of religion, if they do not help the soul to tend to the perfection of love manifested by the Crucified Lord and Master?
Consider the perfect love which the Apostle asks us to have for our neighbor: mercy, compassion, mutual forgiveness, and that love which leaves no room for divisions or dissensions, which overcomes strife and forgets offenses. This is long-suffering charity which makes every sacrifice and overcomes all difficulties in order to be in harmony with all, because we all form one mind, one heart, one spirit, one body in Christ. Fraternal charity of this kind is the surest guarantee of a spiritual life that is advancing toward sanctity.
The Holy Gospel (Mt. 13.24-30) shows us the practical way to live this ideal. The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But… his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat. God has sown the good seed generously in His field, the world; He has sown grace and charity, and the desire for total Christ-like oblation, the ideals of an apostolic, religious, saintly life. But, in the midst of all this good, even in His own vineyard, the Catholic Church, the enemy comes to sow evil. Why does God permit this? To sift His servants – even Peter (cf., Lk. 22.31) – as we sift grain, to test them.
Now, more than ever, we scandalized, seeing evil working its way even to the best places (cf., our post “A Perilous ‘Catholic’ Voyage” and “The Year 1929”) – the Chair of Peter on which the ‘incument president’ of the Neo-Catholic DisOrder claims, though not ex cathedra, that there is “no such thing as a Catholic God” (in our post Estote Sapientes); also, to the ‘SSPX chair’ on which the SG formally declared that the “bastard Mass” (Abp. Marcel Lefebvre; Pope John Pal II: “tampered liturgy” in our post “Our Lady and the Diabolical Campaign”, and Card. Ratzinger: “fabricated liturgy” in Msgr. Gamber’s “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy”, later as Pope Benedict XVI: “outbalanced liturgy – more a [Protestant ‘fellowship’] celebration than worship”), the “New” ‘M[e]ss’ which is the worship of the idol of the ‘incumbent’ ‘Pontifex’, “was legitimately promulgated” – seeing that even among God’s ‘best friends’, among those who should be the bastion of the truth – of orthodoxy – and source of edification to others, there are those who speak and behave unworthily and most shamefully. Then we are filled with zeal, like the servants in the parable. We want to remedy this evil and root up the cockle. Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? But God answers, No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. The cockle is spared, not because it is good, but in order to save the wheat. In the same way God spares the wicked and does not destroy them, for the sake of the elect. When God asks us to endure with patience certain situations, as inevitable as they are deplorable, He asks for one of the greatest exercises of charity (as “Catholic Resistance”). But one thing that is truly of the Catholic Christ – of the “Catholic God”: He does not tell us to ‘fraternize’ with evil – as the idol of the ‘incumbent’ ‘Pontifex’ and his Vatican II predecessors would “instill… the feeling of brotherhood” – to make a league with the cockle, but He tells us to endure it with the longanimity with which He Himself endured it. Was there not one who had the mind of Satan and another who was a traitor among the Apostles? Yet the Lord and Savior wanted them among His intimates – and with how much love He treated them that He did not spare them the severest rebukes!
Indeed one of the greatest opportunities for the practice of charity is offered us by those who by their evil conduct give us so many occasions for forgiving them, for returning good for evil, and for suffering injustice for the love of God. Moreover, we should consider that, whereas, cockle cannot be changed into wheat, it is always possible for the wicked to be converted and become good. Were not Magdalen, the good thief, and Peter, who had denied Jesus with swearings, coverted?
When our love is perfect, we are able to live among the wicked without being harsh or contentious yet without being influenced by them!