“Wheat and weeds growing side by side until the harvest. That’s how Christ described his Church. Good and bad, saints and sinners, would all be part of his kingdom on earth.
And that is the way it has been from the beginning. Indeed the history of the Church is so full of sin and sinners that the wonder of it all is how it survived, how it continued to exist, how, despite its frailty and sinfulness, it managed to continue to be such a mighty force for good in the world up to the present time.
How did it survive the scandals, the weaknesses of its leaders and its members? The answer of course is that Christ never abandoned, never left his Church. ‘I will be with you always until the end of time’ he promised. Jesus knew his Church would not be perfect here on earth, that ultimate perfection will only come about in the next life. During his short life here on earth his enemies denounced him for ‘eating and drinking with sinners’. In doing so he made it clear that his love embraces everyone, saint and sinner.
Sinful and imperfect as we are, this teaching comforts us. Christ nevertheless calls on us to keep trying to grow and improve, to keep up the struggle. He tells us to be ‘perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect’. We don’t become perfect overnight. It is a lifetime process but Christ is with us all the way, carrying us in times of weakness, urging us on when we are complacent and tempted to be content with our lukewarm state. We pray for the grace of perseverance and a deeper awareness of his loving and helpful presence in our lives.”
– This article was published in St Martin Magazine, issue July 2015. For subscriptions please visit http://www.stmartin.ie (external link)