In our day to day experience, many times, we talk of power and its uses by the authorities in relation with their subjects. Earthly rulers many times abuse power and use it to intimidate others. The political philosopher, Nicollo Machiavelli in Florence, Italy of the 15th Century, in his book: “the Prince” speaks about the principle that governs the power of the ruler. The principle he propounds is that the end justifies the means. No matter how immoral or how many people suffer in the process, if the end is good, that is acceptable. The church, right from his time, always holds that the end does not justify the means. Good end must be attained with just means. Today, the wise-man of the Old Testament helps us to have the true understanding of power and to work towards it by imitating God’s ways of exercising it. A true leader is the Godly person who leads by good examples and does not lord it over others. The book of Wisdom, written in Alexandria, Egypt about the year 150 BC which constitutes our first reading today, helps us to reflect on how God himself displays his power and authority. The problem was: Why does God allow the good (Jews in the city) to suffer at the hands of the wicked (outsiders)? Why does he not use his power to vindicate (that is, assert the place of) his people?
The God of the Jews is Lord; his people need no other deity. The power of God is so overwhelming, he has no equal to account his actions; yet, he is just in his ways. He rules with patience and clemency, to allow repentance and forgiveness. Yet, he rebukes those who confuse his kindness with weakness.
In the midst of trials and persecutions, many times we ask: why does God not act decisively in our defense. Often we respond with impatience and despair instead of trust, faith and hope in our God.
God rules with love. In our gospel reading today, we see that God is the one who sowed wheat, while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat and then went off. He did not allow his servants to pull up the weeds so that they might not uproot the wheat in the process. He told them, “Let them grow together until harvest” when the weeds will be burned in bundles and the wheat collected into his barn.
The lesson we learn from this is that good and evil cannot be separated. They have to grow up together till the end time. The line separating good from evil does not pass in the space between the individuals, or between groups, or between nation and nation: it passes within the heart of every person. That is why it is not possible to intervene with fire from heaven: everything would then be destroyed, the good as well as the evil. Each one is given the opportunity to prove himself or herself, to be on the side of the good at the end.
Each of us is called to be a leader. To be a good leader, God’s ways of reigning over us, must be our source and inspiration. To be a good leader, we must do so with love and patience. We must learn to discern what God wants and help people to follow God’s will. We must learn to overcome evil with the power of good; we must conquer all difficulties with the power of love and radiate the power, the goodness, the holiness and the light of Christ in our surroundings. A good leader is one who leads with the power of his or her good examples.
As St. Paul tells us today, we must be the people who live in the spirit. The spirit helps us in our weakness. Without the spirit, it will be impossible for us, to get rid of those weeds in our lives, which make it difficult to know or discern the mind of God in our lives. St. Paul tells us that the spirit himself makes intercession for us, in ways which cannot be expressed in words. In this way, the spirit intercedes for the saints as God himself wills.
For us to become saints, therefore, let us be attentive to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to work with ourselves, and remove from ourselves, those things that are not of God. Let us build our lives with the word of God each day, so that we become the good seeds sown by Jesus himself, who will produce fruits of God’s Kingdom of holiness and love. In this way we will be gathered for the kingdom of God in the end. May God, help us now and forever. Amen