Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective (37) – The Weeds within the Kingdom

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Continuing through the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it relates to prophecy:

827 “Christ, ‘holy, innocent, and undefiled,’ knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.” All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners. In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time. Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ’s salvation but still on the way to holiness:

The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This entry in the catechism recalls the Kingdom of God being like the field where the enemy sowed weeds in with the wheat. The master allowed the two to grow side by side, and in the end the weeds will be burned. This theme is revisited over and over again, and yet human history and the Church seems to forget about this message. People don’t like hypocrites, and they want to believe all those in the hierarchy are the holiest of individuals. We unthinkingly put our faith in men, rather than Christ and the Holy Spirit in guiding the teachings of the Church. Thus, people leave when men fail them, and in turn reject Church teachings.

It does none of us any good to ignore the failings of people in the Church structure and throughout history. However, acknowledging that is not an indictment of the Church herself – the bride of Christ. In fact, the above entry in the Catechism takes this even further – every one of us have some “weeds” growing up in our own personal field. We can be baptized and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. We can go to the Sacraments and be infused with grace. We are made holy. And yet, we can still sin. The Church as a community is just a greater reflection of the very process we go through at the individual level. But in the end, it is still Christ’s Church.

This is relevant as it relates to the prophetic for the same reasons as many previous entries. It gives us insight into what the kingdom of God on earth is all about, which is truly of vital imporance when trying to understand the context of Biblical prophecy, as well as discerning the claims made in Private Revelation.

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