Yesterday I watched some of the Holy Week ceremonies from The Vatican on Youtube and they left me with very mixed and very contradictory feelings.
On the one hand, I was impressed and moved by the ceremony and music. That kind of ceremony and music is one of the main reasons I am a Catholic and not a Protestant.
On the other hand, I was intensely aware of the vast corruption within the organization, of which The Vatican in is the HQ.
I spent some time reflecting on how beauty and evil can coexist in the one place. That reflection left me questioning and puzzled.
The ceremonies were conducted with absolute precision. The vestments and trappings were impressive. The language was attractive.
And then my eyes fell on that old reprobate Cardinal Bertone, sitting in the front row, the former Vatican Secretary of State and one of the most corrupt creatures in current day Rome.
I asked myself - "How does all this fit together"? What do God and Jesus think of it all"?
And then I remembered one of Jesus parables - the Parable of the Darnel and the Wheat
Matthew 13:24-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Of course, Jesus lived before the scientists gave us weed ( or tare ) killers that can be sprayed over the crop, protect the wheat and kill off the tares that are choking the wheat. Had He known about weed killers might He has altered His parable I wonder?
It seems quite wasteful to allow the weeds to exist for a full harvest time and do a lot of harm in the process.
In recent years and decades, those who have been watching the Roman Catholic Church closely have seen a lot of the tares exposed – the child abusers, the abuse cover up merchants, those who buried babies in septic tanks, those clerics who have turned seminaries into gay saunas, etc.
The really effective “weed killers” have been the international exposure of these weeds in the international media – and of course legal action and the relieving of the RC Church of billions of pounds, dollars and euros in compensation.
Here in Ireland we have seen the acres of weeds exposed in Dublin. Ferns, Cloyne, Dromore, Down and Connor and Armagh.
Last week we watched Armagh James going around with his mobile telephone weed killer camera.
Maynooth has been exposed as Gaynooth.
The Boston Globe, Spotlight and many media outlets have created weed exposing articles, TV programmes and award-winning films.
So it seems that while the Good Lord has promised to separate the wheat and the tares at the end of time – He has encouraged or at least allowed much earthly husbandry to do quite a bit of weed killing on this side of the great divide.
God helps those who help themselves.
God wants us all to be weed killers in this life.
And He has promised that any weeds we miss will be dealt with by Him at the end.
That sounds like a good balance to me!