During the terrorist attempted control of Marawi City in the south of the Philippines, speculations arose about the brains behind the violence. A teacher of one of the two brothers who initiated the invasion was interviewed on television and he was perplexed at how a silent, good-hearted kid turned out into a terrorist.   While many people simply thought of this man as wicked, the teacher asked: What happened to him?

Throughout history, we have tried to explain the problem of evil. Is evil natural to humans or is it something that infects them later in life? The gospel today (Mt. 13) gives us an explanation of the presence of evil in the world. The angels sow good seeds, which turn out fruitful at the harvest. The devil sows bad seeds, which turn out disastrous in the end.

Judging from this illustration, we can easily conclude that some are born good and some are born evil or some are destined for greatness while others are destined for infamy.  However the Lord Jesus was indirectly telling us something about good and evil. Between the sowing and the harvest, there is the element of freedom.

Goodness thrives when we accept it in our hearts. Evil succeeds when we nurture it within us. God did not make good people and bad people. God made free people who have the power to decide which seeds will flourish in their lives.

Some people have all the right ingredients for growing up righteous and great. But because they have freely chosen the wrong path, they end up in ruin. Others grow up amidst hellish conditions, and yet because they choose to be good, they emerge as people of outstanding virtue.

Let us always remember that in our lives there are constant invitations either to do good or to do wrong. We end up in the place we have freely chosen. Let us ask the Lord for the grace of his guidance so that we will always allow the good seed of his love to grow in our hearts.