“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

The gospel reading for today has Jesus explaining the parable of two days ago about the weeds among the wheat after dismissing the crowds (Mt 13:36-43): God sows the good seed (the children of the Kingdom), the devil sows weeds (his children).  At the end of time the angels of God will gather up the evildoers and cast them into Hell, while the righteous will shine in the Kingdom.  Here Jesus is telling us that in God’s plan sin and evil are clearly permitted.  Those who cause others to sin and remain unrepentant are lost.  Those who remain steadfast in the Lord receive an eternal reward.  Some would have us believe there is no Hell, yet Jesus speaks of it a number of times in very graphic terms.  Some would have us believe there are no negative eternal consequences to any sin and evil we might commit, yet Jesus clearly states the ramifications time and again.  Perhaps those who believe such things find comfort in the idea of an empty Hell or one that simply does not exist.  Or maybe having carte blanche to do as one will on earth serves to satisfy the flesh while avoiding guilt here and ramifications in the next life.  Let us not be fooled by this trick of the devil.  One of Satan’s most devious schemes is to have persons believe that he and his realm do not exist.  He has made tremendous inroads not only in the secular culture but among many Christians as well.  The “righteous will shine like the sun” we read.  Well, may the light of truth proceed from us as well to enlighten all men and women to the reality of the devil and hell.  Let us speak of it out of charity in the hopes of convincing others of this reality.  And let us never allow others to be the cause of our sin so that we will never be implicated in helping to put someone in the state of eternal separation from God.  Rather, let our steadfastness in holiness be the shining example of Christ to others so that they may be moved to repent and become children of light.

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