Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time


There are a number of people employed in the Catholic Schools who are counter witnesses to the Catholic Church.  Some of them openly oppose some of the fundamental teachings of the Church.  They do not care about the mission of the Church.  These less than desirable elements in the school system is affecting the integrity of not just the Catholic Education system, but the Church at large.  It is not only the Catholic Schools that have this problem.  CatholicCare, other charities of the Church, Catholic Hospitals and other welfare agencies of the Church also have the same problem.  How did these people enter the Church institutions in the first place?  It cannot be any holy motivations and dynamics that got them into their current positions.  It is not just the institutions that are faced with such problems.  Parishes also can find people of disputed religious motives in the congregation.  What is the best way to protect the Church and its integrity from the counter witnessing of such people?  Purging these elements may be the solution many well-meaning Christians may propose.  However, the Gospel would address such problems differently.  The parable of the wheat and the darnel provides the Christian guidelines.

The farmer sowed only good seeds of wheat.  But the enemy brought in the darnel.  To protect all seedlings of the wheat, the farmer lets the darnel to grow with his crop.  The sorting will happen at the harvest time, at the end.  That is when the wheat is secured in the barns and the darnel destroyed.

When Christian witnesses are lacking, what can make the Kingdom of God flourish?  It does not take a lot to enable the Kingdom of God to grow.  Just like how a tiny seed can grow into a huge tree, the committed Christian life of a person like Mother Teresa of Kolkata, helped millions of people appreciate the presence of God in their lives.  Your personal witness to Christ, if it is true, will help the faith of people around you grow like the yeast making the dough grow.  Therefore, do not count yourself too small or insignificant in the face of all the counter witnesses you see in the Church and around you.  Make the tiny seed of your faith commitment grow into a tree of hope and shelter for all who aspire for God’s providence.