xt3: Mass of Remembrance & Call for Peace St Mary's Cathedral.
Homily of Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Apostolic Administrator, Archdiocese of Sydney, for the Mass of Remembrance for the victims of MH17, St Mary's Cathedral, Sunday 20 July 2014
The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. (Matt 13.24–25)
One of the most profound and mysterious events in every person’s life is the moment of realisation that we human beings are a complex mixture of light and dark, of good and evil. In that moment when we first acknowledge this reality, honestly and humbly, we start to claim ownership of our humanity. We know we are created for that which is good, true and beautiful, yet we allow ourselves to absorb that which is evil, false and ugly. God’s most marvellous creature of light and life often enough becomes lost in the shadows of corruption and death.
In the targeting and destruction of flight MH17, and the loss of 298 innocent lives, the shocking effects of our fallen humanity have once again confronted the world. But what are we now to do with this latest instance of an age–old knowledge?
In his parable of the wheat and darnel, Jesus shows just how well he understands the human condition, and our propensity to mingle that which is good with that which is evil. In particular today, we might note especially what Jesus tells us about how this mingling occurs. To repeat the words of the parable: While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.
It was in the darkness - when actions are most easily hidden - that the enemy came. While the people were sleeping and their vigilance was at its lowest ebb, the act of deception occurred. The good and open work of sowing wheat in the daylight is undermined by the evil and hidden work of sowing darnel in the night.
From this insight of Jesus, we are reminded that evil will always have its way when vigilance and transparency are allowed to wane. It will seek out the paths of subterfuge and hiding. Delusion, not truth, is the chief strategy of the Great Deceiver. Yet, evil is inevitably exposed in the light of day. It is a harrowing image to see fields of crops in Eastern Ukraine strewn with human remains and wreckage, and to think of fields of wheat strewn with darnel.
The downing of MH17 was not an innocent accident; it was the outcome of a trail of human evil. Consider how blame and buck–passing is the current strategy of those responsible. The subversion of truth is also happening in other places in the world, wherever human dignity lies blanketed under violent hatreds, ancient and new. Evil will try to hide, obfuscate, deny. But by the light of day the true picture will be seen. And it is under the light of the Resurrected Day, that the Risen Lord calls all of us to walk.
Read Bishop Peter’s Homily in full at the Sydney Archdiocesan site
A trail of human evil - Bishop Peter Comensoli
PM speaks of national anguish for MH17 victims
Sydney Religious Sister in MH17 tragedy