By Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE have to be realistic in this life. There are unavoidable evils in this world and we should just learn how to deal with them properly without compromising what is essential in our Christian morality.
We are reminded of this fact of life in that gospel parable where Christ told his disciples about a certain rich man whose steward was reported to him for squandering his property. (cfr. Lk 16,1-8) Of course, the steward was sure of being fired.
As the gospel narrates, the steward did some tricky maneuvers to save him from his predicament. And in the end, the master commended that steward, because as Christ said, “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light.”
As I’ve said a number of times before, this parable is the most intriguing since it would seem that Christ is just ok with some cheating. But to me, it simply means that Christ is being realistic with our situation in this world. We try to put everything in our life right, clean and moral. But no matter what we do, we would always be hounded by evil and by all kinds of dirt, physical, moral, spiritual.
This parable seems to tell us that we should just learn how to live with this condition and do our best to come out ok in the eyes of God in the end. What may be considered as aggravating circumstance in human justice may be regarded as saving grace in God’s eyes.
We may have to handle dirt in our life and deal with situations that are wrought with moral irregularities, but as long as we do not compromise what is essential, which is love that comes from God as shown by Christ who became like sin without committing sin (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21), then things will just turn out ok.
We have to learn to distinguish between what is a tolerable cooperation in evil and an intolerable one. With the former, we should feel the obligation to do whatever we can to clean up what is evil in a given situation, system or structure.
We should try always to be helpful, positive and constructive in our outlook, avoiding having the attitude of simply looking for faults in others and for what is wrong in a given situation.
Of course, neither should we ignore the wrong things around, but we should not be discouraged by them. On the contrary, they should pose as an invitation and a challenge for us to do something about them. It may take a lot of time and effort to do this, but we should just be patient and persevering, never giving up on the effort to put things right.
Let us always remember that evil in all its forms cannot stand on its own. It will always depend, like a parasite, on something that is good and true which it tries to deform or deny. We just have to find a way to take that parasitic evil away from its host. What we have to avoid is to get so frustrated as to do nothing about it.
In this regard, it is good that we master the moral doctrine about cooperation in evil. Evil, as we said, is growing around us and has struck deep roots. We have to learn how to deal with it. Obviously, we cannot help but get dirty ourselves, and yet there is also a way to clean up and make up. We just always need to return to God, as often as necessary.