The WORD in Other Words by Fr Oliver Quilab SVD (Germany)
Saturday Week 16 Ordinary Time, Ex 24:3-8, Mt 13: 24-30
The resurgence of fundamentalist terrorism in our times should invite us to examine and search our hearts for some traces of fundamentalist intolerance in our thinking and acting. Heard of terror—parents, terror—neighbors, terror—doctors, terror—professors, even terror—liturgists, priests and nuns?
A fundamentalist mindset — be it religious, moral, political — neatly breaks up humanity into simplistic and sweeping categories, like normal and abnormal, leftists and rightists, conservative and progressive, pious and impious, friend and enemy, good and evil. This mindset leaves no room for dialogue and tolerance, and almost always considers the other as the evil incarnate that has to be obliterated from the face of the earth.
History has taught us that ambitious utopian projects trying to impose their ideology of the good, the true and the just, and weed out with violence those who do not fit into the frame, mutate into tyrannical regimes.
It is comforting to know from the kingdom parable today that our God does not terrorize people to submit to His will and to hasten the establishment of His kingdom. His fundamental passion for human beings, who are created in His image and likeness, is intensified by His patience with the way we are using our individual freedom and realizing our potentials. He respects the dignity and the peculiar history of each person.
We human beings, on the contrary, easily fail to recognize, respect and promote the dignity of the other. We can become so obsessed by the imperfections of others, which actually is a reflection of our own feelings of inadequacy, that we fail to appreciate the enormous potential that each one carries within himself/herself.
The parable is a reminder that it is not up to us to sort out the weeds from the wheat. There will indeed come a time of judgment. Until then, we should continue to live out our faith by cooperating in building God‘s kingdom with passion and patience.