Evil Doesn't Get The Last Word
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun …”
During World War II, Hungary had largely avoided Nazi pressure to persecute the Jews until the spring of 1944, when Adolf Eichmann arrived on the scene. During six weeks of terror, from mid-May to the end of June 1944, Eichmann sent almost 450,000 Hungarian Jews to their deaths. Yet a Swedish diplomat named Raoul Wallenberg managed to get many Jews out of Hungary on Swedish passports. His tireless efforts saved around 30,000 people. His reward? When the Soviets rolled into Hungary, they took Wallenberg prisoner and he disappeared into a Soviet gulag. No one knows exactly what befell him. Despite efforts to get him released, he was never freed and he died, deserted and alone, in a Soviet prison or labor camp.
A cynic would say that no good deed goes unpunished. But today’s Gospel offers comfort to all the Raoul Wallenbergs of the world, and to all those who were herded into cattle cars and dumped into gas chambers. Evil will not triumph. Evil will not have the last word. No matter the degree to which justice is perverted in this world, justice will be done in the next. In the parable of the weeds and the wheat, Jesus counsels us to have patience now, for we are still in the time of mercy. While it lasts, God never stops calling his wayward children to repentance. But at some point the judgment will come, and the angels will reap the harvest of the earth. Some wrongs will never be righted on this earth. But they will be righted—not in our time, but in God’s. And that should reassure us that though it tarries, the day of justice will not be put off forever. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Jesus, this Gospel makes me fear the day of reckoning, but at the same time I find it comforting. I don’t like to dwell on the face of evil in the world. Yet I cannot deny its existence and I can’t make sense of it. You tell us quite plainly that the enemy, the devil, is at work in the world sowing seeds of evil. But the power of your love is stronger than the power of evil. In the end, your love will triumph. Lord, I believe in your love and its power to overcome evil. Increase my faith.
“Explain to us the parable.”
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 296–297). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.