Wheat and Tares (Good and Evil)
by H.H. Pope Shenouda III
God has sent you to the earth to spread goodness. As for the evil that is on the earth, leave it and do not waste effort in trying to uproot it, but instead concentrate on spreading goodness.
The Lord gave us a wise policy in the parable of the tares in Matthew 13. "The servants asked the owner of the field, 'Do You want us to go and gather them [the destructive tares] up?' But the owner said, "'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.'" (Matt. 13:28-29).
So the tares remained on the earth and the Lord allowed them not only to stay but to grow and grow till the harvest. It is not for us to gather it...
As for you, have you tired yourself in pulling the tares while still on the earth? Have you lost your spirituality in doing this, but did not succeed nor win yourself? Perhaps you have found out that your wheat was uprooted with the tares or became like the tares in anger and the loss of peace, and perhaps in losing some of the love you had!
If you feel tired, come and let us both grow wheat together; sow the seeds of good everywhere. Let us plant new seeds and water them with the living water and pray that God may make them grow. Let us ask Him in our prayers and in the Holy Liturgy to bring them up according to their measure, according to His grace and to accord a cheerful touch to the face of the land, that its furrows may be watered and its fruits be plentiful.
Sow the seeds of good everywhere. Do not be troubled if some of them fall on stony places or among the thorns... Forget all that and rejoice in the few seeds that fell on good soil and grew... This is your portion from all your toil. It is also the portion of God.
Do not waste your time, your nerves or your spirituality in uprooting evil from the earth, but be positive in doing good.
How beautiful is the saying, "Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle."
Light does not struggle with darkness, but the mere presence of light is enough to disperse darkness.
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