17 Jul 2020 | Posted by: chadmin
This past week, the junior clergy of the Diocese of Peoria were on retreat in Springfield. The week is an opportunity for the guys to spiritually renew as well as have social time. We have 24 priests ordained less than ten years. They are assigned in different areas of the Diocese in many different types of assignments. Some are in specialized ministry as high school or college chaplains, one works with vocations, and the vast majority serve as pastors or are assistant pastors at a parish. One of my good priest friends, Fr. Luke Spannagel, gave the conferences this week. He invited guys to reflect on our own personal weaknesses and the need to rely on the strength of Jesus Christ in ministry. Reliance on Jesus Christ in all things is a good message for each of us.
The parable of the wheat and the weeds this week invites us to reflect on the challenge of evil in the world. The seed sown by God is to produce good wheat in the field of the farmer. The weeds appear with the wheat and the assumption is made that an enemy to the farmer has sabotaged the field. The landowner, God in the parable, chooses to let the evil weeds grow along with the wheat, in order to not hurt the wheat. The words of Christ give us God’s perspective on permitting evil in the world, despite the negative affect. All of us would remove evil from the world if we could. The love of God is communicated to us in the gift of freedom and His unwillingness to control the created world. Despite the problems and the evil in the world, God calls us to use our freedom to choose the good while patiently suffering the world’s evils like Jesus. May the Lord give us the strength to resist anything that would keep us from union with Him.