“The children of light are like sheep that follow the voice of the Good Shepherd and He sends them among the wolves.” (Mt 10, 16). Where are you on this battle?
Newsroom (06/02/2023 10:15 AM, Gaudium Press) — It is on porous borders that the bloodiest wars take place. This is a peculiar parable, certainly known by some readers. The story sheds light on the present moment for Catholics who truly wish to embrace the path of goodness.
Once upon a time, a young man was walking on a wall. On the right side were God and his children, on the left, Satan and his minions. The boy, raised in a Catholic home, hesitated between following the party of the Lord or that of the devil and his attractions, that is, the world and the flesh. Later, still undecided, he noticed an essential difference between the two groups. While the friends of the Highest shouted insistently “Get down here!”, the devil’s minions remained silent. So, the young man asked Satan: “Why do the followers of God call me, while your band says nothing?” To his surprise, the cursed angel replied: “Because the wall is mine!” In fact, there is no middle ground: the wall already has an owner…
This story illustrates the strong & eternal irreconcilability between light and darkness, between the children of God and the servants of Satan. Ultimately, between the race of the Virgin and the race of the Serpent. Such non-conformity was highlighted by Jesus through metaphors taken from the animal kingdom. The children of light are like sheep that follow the voice of the Good Shepherd & He sends them among the wolves (Mt 10, 16), that is, to the other side of the “wall”.
However, with the recommendation never to conform to it: “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’. What goes beyond this comes from the evil one” (Mt 5, 37). Even in the early days of Christianity, the disciples of Jesus were recognized for their good deeds, in opposition to the depraved customs of the Gentiles around them. Thus testifies the Letter to Diognetus about them: “They are of the flesh, however, they do not live according to the flesh. They dwell on earth, but their city is in Heaven. They obey the established laws, but with their way of life they surpass the laws.”
In conclusion, Christians are in the world what the soul is in the body. The soul is in every member of the body and Christians in every city in the world. The soul dwells in the body but does not proceed from the body. Christians are in the world but they are not of the world. Let’s return to the initial example. As in the Ignatian metaphor of Spiritual Exercises on one side are the followers of the standard of Christ on the other, those of Lucifer. The young man, at the top of the wall, thinks he is immune to the onslaughts of both. However, it is on porous borders that the bloodiest wars take place. Therefore, whoever followed neither side in this life will be destined to pursue, for all eternity, a blank standard: that of those who, denying the high ideals of the Faith, embraced the consensus of the world. The love of the Father will not be in them (cf. I Jn 2:15).
Text extracted from Magazine Arautos do Gospel n. 242, February 2022.
Compiled by Donna Smolders